Oil Company Vows to Go Ahead with Dakota Pipeline, DESPITE Army Statement
BREAKING: Oil Company Openly States They Will Defy Army Corps Order in Standing Rock
Claire Bernish December 5, 2016
Balking at an earlier decision by the Army Corps of Engineers, Energy Transfer Partners — the company responsible for constructing the Dakota Access Pipeline — says the denial of an easement necessary to drill under the Missouri River is of no consequence for its plans to complete the project.
According to a statement from Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics, which is acquiring ETP in a merger:
“As stated all along, ETP and SXL are fully committed to ensuring that this vital project is brought to completion and fully expect to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around Lake Oahe. Nothing this Administration has done today changes that in any way.”
In short, ETP will complete the Dakota Access Pipeline — no matter what the federal government says.
Earlier on Sunday, celebrations erupted over the Army Corps’ announcement the permitting necessary for the Dakota Access Pipeline to pass beneath the Missouri River’s Lake Oahe reservoir would not be granted — a decision some perceived would have direct implications for the future of the project.
Leery of such official decisions after a string of disappointments, however, many water protectors immediately questioned whether ETP CEO Kelcy Warren had contingency plans to ensure completion of the pipeline. Considering the lengths ETP has undertaken with the Dakota Access Pipeline — even justifying abhorrently brutal policing against unarmed protectors — news the project will proceed unhindered hardly came as a shock. ETP states:
“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.”
Technically speaking, ETP did perhaps follow the letter of the law — and that fact both doesn’t sit well with Indigenous water protectors who see the U.S. government once again acting to exploit Native peoples on land never officially ceded, but usurped, in the breaking of several treaties.
Indeed, to attain the desired path for Dakota Access, Energy Transfer Partners was able to take land from reluctant private property owners through eminent domain. Most controversy over the pipeline centers on the contextually-striking fight by Native Americans to preserve the integrity of their drinking water supply in North Dakota — but the fight to halt Dakota Access also grips South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois.
Unconfirmed reports claim ETP has opted to pay $50,000 per day in fines for violating the Army Corps decision rather than sidelining the project for months while awaiting conclusions of an environmental impact statement.