Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not grant an easement that would have allowed the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under the Missouri River at Lake Oahe, effectively halting Energy Transfer Partners illegal construction on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s ancestral homelands. Waterkeeper Alliance thanks President Obama and Assistant Army Secretary for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy for requiring an Environmental Impact Statement, examining alternate routes for the pipeline and protecting the water resources of the Standing Rock Sioux. We also express our deep gratitude to the thousands of Water Protectors for their courageous stand to protect their homeland, their historic and sacred sites, and the drinking water of millions.
“Energy Transfer Partners’ true interests reside solely with profits, not the public.” said Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., President of Waterkeeper Alliance. “They have desecrated sacred land and put millions at risk with their dirty business. Indigenous peoples from over 300 tribes, peaceful protestors, and allies took a brave stand against this outlaw corporation and prevailed. The stand-off at Standing Rock will go down in history as an historic and landmark event in the pursuit of justice and defines a new era in environmental advocacy.”
Regardless of where this pipeline is rerouted, we must recognize that the same issues will present themselves; the pipeline will break and will have catastrophic impacts on our waterways and the health of our communities. Waterkeepers across the globe know firsthand how oil spills destroy clean water, wildlife and livelihoods. Because pipeline operators cannot safely maintain existing pipelines without spills, fires and fatal explosions, new pipelines like the Dakota Access Pipeline, Constitution Pipeline, Sabal Trail Pipeline and others that carry dirty fossil fuels through our communities and our water supplies must be rejected. Fossil fuels need to be kept in the ground in order to protect water quality, address climate change, and save the lives of future generations.