House Speaker Paul Ryan called a decision by the US Army Corps of Engineers to deny a government permit for the Dakota Access oil pipeline “big-government decision-making at its worst.” The Wisconsin Republican tweeted Sunday night that he looks “forward to putting this anti-energy presidency behind us.”
The Army Corps announced Sunday that it will not allow the four-state, $3.8 billion pipeline to be built under Lake Oahe in North Dakota — a Missouri River reservoir where construction had been on hold. The decision is a victory for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its supporters, who argued the project would threaten the tribe’s water source and cultural sites.
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Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders praised the decision of the US Army Corps of Engineers to deny a permit for the Dakota Access oil pipeline in southern North Dakota. Sanders, who made a strong run for the Democratic presidential nomination this year, said he appreciates President Barack Obama “listening to the Native American people and millions of others who believe this pipeline should not be built.” He said: “We should not continue to trample on Native American sovereignty.” Sanders also said the country should not increase its fossil fuel dependence and accelerate the crisis of climate change.
The Vermont Senator’s statement read: “I appreciate very much President Obama listening to the Native American people and millions of others who believe this pipeline should not be built. In the year 2016, we should not continue to trample on Native American sovereignty. We should not endanger the water supply of millions of people. We should not become more dependent on fossil fuel and accelerate the planetary crisis of climate change. Our job now is to transform our energy system away from fossil fuels, not to produce more greenhouse gas emissions.”
Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier, whose department has done much of the policing for the Dakota Access pipeline protests, said “local law enforcement does not have an opinion” on the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision not to grant an easement for the project. Kirchmeier said the sheriff’s department’s role ” is to enforce the law” and that it “will continue to do so.”
Hundreds of demonstrators near the Dakota Access pipeline protest camp broke into cheers and chanted “water is life” in the Lakota Sioux language as news spread that the federal government won’t grant an easement for the project in southern North Dakota. Some in the crowd banged drums. Miles Allard of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe said he was pleased by the decision but remained cautious, saying opponents of the pipeline “don’t know what Trump is going to do.”
Allard said he’s been telling his people “to stand up and not to leave until this is over.” Carla Youngbear of the Meskwaki Potawatomi tribe traveled from central Kansas to be at the protest site. She said she has grandchildren and is going to have great-grandchildren who will need water and that’s why she was there.