Environment | National | Politics

Rosebud Sioux Tribe slams House vote on Keystone XL Pipeline






The Rosebud Sioux Tribe has set up a prayer camp to oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline. The route crosses through treaty territory in South Dakota. Photo from Bold Nebraska / Facebook

The leader of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota blasted the Republican-controlled House on Friday for approving a Keystone XL Pipeline bill.

H.R.5682 passed by a 252 to 161 vote. Rep. Kristi Noem (R-South Dakota), the state's sole representative, supported the bill to authorize the controversial project.

“The House has now signed our death warrants and the death warrants of our children and grandchildren. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe will not allow this pipeline through our lands,” Rosebud President Cyril Scott said in response.

“We are outraged at the lack of intergovernmental cooperation. We are a sovereign nation and we are not being treated as such," Scott added. "We will close our reservation borders to Keystone XL. Authorizing Keystone XL is an act of war against our people.”

The Senate is expected to vote on the bill as early as Tuesday. But even if it passes there, President Barack Obama, who rebutted the claimed benefits of the project, is likely to veto the measure.

“Understand what this project is: It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else. It doesn't have an impact on US gas prices,” Obama said at a press conference during his visit to Myanmar on Friday, ABC News reported.

“If my Republican friends really want to focus on what's good for the American people in terms of job creation and lower energy costs, we should be engaging in a conversation about what are we doing to produce even more homegrown energy? I'm happy to have that conversation,” Obama added.

Sen. Tim Johnson (D-South Dakota), who is retiring at the end of the current session of Congress, said he will vote against the bill. Sen. John Thune (R-South Dakota) plans to vote for it.

Republicans will be in control of the House and the Senate in the next session of Congress. They plan to continue pushing for the pipeline if the current bill fails.

Tribes in the U.S. and Canada are fighting the project due to concerns about treaty rights, sacred sites and the environment. Some landowners and ranchers along the route, mainly in Nebraska and South Dakota, are also opposed to the pipeline

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma) and Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Oklahoma), who are the only two enrolled tribal members in Congress, voted for the bill.

Get the Story:
House approval of Keystone XL pipeline is an ‘act of war': Rosebud Sioux Tribe (The New York Daily News 11/17)
Rosebud Sioux Tribe: House Vote On Keystone XL Pipeline An ‘Act Of War' (The Huffington Post 11/16)
Johnson to vote 'no' on Keystone pipeline bill in Senate (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 11/15)
House Passes Bill Directing Obama to Proceed on Oil Pipeline (The New York Times 11/15)
As House approves Keystone pipeline bill, Obama veto grows more likely (The Washington Post 11/15)

Related Stories:
Obama dismisses claimed benefits from Keystone XL Pipeline (11/14)
House heads for vote on bill to approve Keystone XL Pipeline (11/13)
Republican lawmakers vow to approve Keystone XL Pipeline (11/11)