The hippies protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline got a brief victory yesterday, when it was announced that the US Army Corps of Engineers will not grant an easement allowing the pipeline’s construction half a mile south of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.
Most didn’t realize however, that they had only won a temporary victory.The Army Corps of Engineers has declined to grant the easement for Energy Transfer Partners’ drilling under Lake Oahe. This isn’t the same as denying it outright.
What it means is that they will do a limited Environmental Impact Study before allowing the drilling. The EIS could take months, by which time Trump will be president and they hope all the water protectors leave so they can finish the pipeline quietly with no media attention.
And for good reason the pipeline isn’t being blocked. Here’s some more backstory, as Counter Current News reported:
Business Wire notes, responding to Obama that “for more than three years now, Dakota Access Pipeline has done nothing but play by the rules. The Army Corps of Engineers agrees, and has said so publicly and in federal court filings. The Corps’ review process and its decisions have been ratified by two federal courts.”
The Army Corps confirmed this again today when it stated its “policy decision” does “not alter the Army’s position that the Corps’ prior reviews and actions have comported with legal requirements.”
In spite of consistently stating at every turn that the permit for the crossing of the Missouri River at Lake Oahe granted in July 2016, comported with all legal requirements, including the use of an environmental assessment, rather than an environmental impact statement, the Army Corps now seeks to engage in additional review and analysis of alternative locations for the pipeline.
The White House’s directive today to the Corps for further delay is just the latest in a series of overt and transparent political actions by an administration which has abandoned the rule of law in favor of currying favor with a narrow and extreme political constituency.
The pipeline doesn’t even cross Native land like they claim.