Friday, February 10, 2017
White Lunar Mirror/ White Rhythmic Dog - Galactic Hawk Moon of Integrity, Day 4
Image courtesy Jaque Fragua.
Lake Oahe Easement for DAPL Draws Backlash
Indigenous activists and members of Congress alike are outraged at lack of Native consultation and environmental oversight
With the final Lake Oahe easement granted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) said it would begin drilling under the Missouri River immediately to finish the last piece of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The Cheyenne River Sioux and Standing Rock Sioux filed legal challenges in District Court in Washington, D.C. to try and stop it.
“We have started the drill to go beneath Lake Oahe and expect to be completed in 60 days, with another 23 days to fill the line to Patoka,” said ETP spokesperson Vicki Granado in an e-mail to Indian Country Media Network. “We look forward to having the pipeline in service in approximately 83 days.”
Opponents called on water protectors to rally in the wake of the February 8 announcement that the Lake Oahe easement had been granted. The move came after President Donald Trump, who has investments in the project, called on the Army Corps to cancel the Environmental Impact Statement study and “expedite” the 1,172-mile-long, $3.8 billion pipeline. That included waiving a 14-day waiting period that is normally respected under such circumstances.
The Standing Rock Sioux on Thursday February 9 filed in court to try and avert the drilling, according to KFYR-TV, even as Chairman David Archambault II acknowledged to Reuters that the tribe was running out of legal options. A status hearing on that and the Cheyenne River Sioux’s filing is scheduled for Monday February 13, according to ABC News.
“We’re running out of options, but that doesn’t mean that it’s over,” Archambault told the news wire. “We’re still going to continue to look at all legal options available to us.”
The granting of the Lake Oahe easement drew immediate backlash from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Indigenous Environmental Neetwork and numerous members of Congress, among many others. It also drew praise from the likes of North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and Sen. John Hoeven, the newly anointed chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.
Archambault assailed what he called the President’s “distorted view of reality” regarding Trump’s declaration that he had heard nothing about any controversy surrounding the pipeline. In a statement Archambault recounted how he had flown to Washington to meet with Trump administration officials on Wednesday February 8, planning to lay out the tribe’s case against the pipeline’s being routed within a half mile of the Standing Rock reservation, only to learn that the Lake Oahe easement had been granted virtually while his plane was in the air. The chairman cancelled the meeting.
“We sent a letter directly to Trump, have filed a legal challenge, and we stand with more than 360 Native Nations and millions of Americans who have voiced their opposition to the project,” Archambault said. “The media has widely reported the President’s brazen conflict of interest to the pipeline. His complete disregard for Native Nations and our treaty rights is disrespectful.”
The Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) vowed to fight the pipeline every step of the way, even after oil was flowing through it.
“The granting of an easement, without any environmental review or tribal consultation, is not the end of this fight—it is the new beginning,” said Tom Goldtooth, IEN executive director, in a statement. “Expect mass resistance far beyond what Trump has seen so far.
Granting the pipeline without proper review violates the law, he said.
“The granting of this easement goes against protocol, it goes against legal process, it disregards more than 100,000 comments already submitted as part of the not-yet-completed environmental review process—all for the sake of Donald Trump’s billionaire big oil cronies,” Goldtooth said. “And, it goes against the treaty rights of the entire Seven Councils Fires of the Sioux Nations.”
Members of Congress agreed, blasting the decision in light of its lack of consultation with Native American tribes.
“This blatant disregard for federal law and our country’s treaty and trust responsibilities to Native American tribes is unacceptable,” wrote members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the House Committee on Natural Resources in a strongly worded letter to Trump. “We strongly oppose this decision and any efforts to undermine tribal rights,” said the letter, which was signed by Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Natural Resources Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-District 3), Rep. Donald S. Beyer Jr. (VA-District 8), Rep. A. Donald McEachin (VA-District 4) and Rep. Jared Huffman (CA-District 2). “We urge you to immediately reverse this decision and follow the appropriate procedures required for tribal consultation, environmental law, and due process.”
Others, however, praised the granting of the Lake Oahe easement.
“This is a key step toward the completion of this important infrastructure project, which has faced months of politically driven delays and will allow for safe transport of North Dakota product to market,” Burgum said in a statement.
Hoeven called it a win for U.S. energy independence.
“Today, the Army Corps of Engineers granted the final easement required to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline project, which will be equipped with the latest safeguards and technology to protect the Standing Rock Sioux and all people downstream,” he said in a statement. “Also it will make our country stronger and more secure by helping us produce and transport more domestic energy instead of importing it from the Middle East.”
Attorneys for the Standing Rock Tribe said treaty rights and environmental issues should have overridden other considerations.
“The Obama administration correctly found that the Tribe’s treaty rights needed to be acknowledged and protected, and that the easement should not be granted without further review and consideration of alternative crossing locations,” said Jan Hasselman, an attorney with Earthjustice, the environmental law firm representing the tribe, in a statement. “Trump’s reversal of that decision continues a historic pattern of broken promises to Indian Tribes and unlawful violation of Treaty rights. They will be held accountable in court.”*
By Theresa Braine
Kin 158: White Lunar Mirror
I polarize in order to reflect
I seal the matrix of endlessness
With the lunar tone of challenge
I am guided by the power of heart.
The point of activating sacred sites is to transform the psychic energy of the human species in resonance with a cosmic template or map planted on the Earth.*
*Star Traveler's 13 Moon Almanac of Synchronicity, Galactic Research Institute, Law of Time Press, Ashland, Oregon, 2016-2017.
The Sacred Tzolk'in
Svadhistanha Chakra (Kali Plasma)