On Jan. 24, President Trump signed executive orders directing the Army Corps of Engineers to “review and approve in an expedited manner” the further construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The Dakota Access Pipeline has become increasingly controversial over the last couple months. One of the four states in which the DAPL goes through is North Dakota, home to the Standing Rock Reservation and the Native American Sioux Tribe. This $3.7 billion pipeline project is said to send 470,000 barrels of crude oil per day from North Dakota to Illinois. Energy Transfer Partners, the company implementing the pipeline, is making a choice that is cost effective and efficient in terms of transportation.
Though these points may sound like pros, they come at a price that contributes to an urgent environmental crisis that will contaminate the main water supply and ruin several sacred ritual sites on the Standing Rock Reservation. Signing executive orders to pursue construction of the pipeline ignores the pressing environmental and civil concerns while also supporting an increase in jobs, economic growth and a plan to “tap into America’s energy supply more,” according to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. It is of no surprise that Trump is pushing for the development of our economy at the expense of environmental and civil unrest.
In response, the people of Standing Rock are not ready to let this pipeline dictate the safety and preservation of their community. Thus, the Native Americans within this community are prepared to appear in court in the near future to eliminate any further production of the Pipeline.
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault II said in a statement, “President Trump is legally required to honor our treaty rights and provide a fair and reasonable pipeline process. Americans know this pipeline was unfairly rerouted towards our nation and without our consent. The existing pipeline route risks infringing on our treaty rights, contaminating our water and the water of 17 million Americans downstream.”
In the meantime, many anxiously await a final and clear answer to the pipeline construction dilemma.