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Standing Rock Sioux Tribe calls on President Obama to reject Dakota Access Pipeline amid uncertainty





Post Election Statement from Chairman Archambault II. 11-9-16 "The results of last night’s election indicate that we as...

Posted by Standing Rock Sioux Tribe on Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe on Facebook: Post-Election Statement

With the Dakota Access Pipeline hanging in the balance, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe remains hopeful that the controversial project will meet its demise before Republican president-elect Donald Trump takes office.

Trump -- who has invested money in Energy Transfer Partners, the parent company of the pipeline -- has vowed to Trump has vowed to lift "roadblocks" to large infrastructure projects like the $3.8 billion pipeline that comes within a half-mile of the tribe's reservation in North Dakota. But Chairman Dave Archambault II said President Barack Obama could put an end the matter.

"In this time of uncertainty, President Obama still has the power to give our children hope," Archambault said in a post-election statement on Wednesday. "We believe halting the Dakota Access pipeline presents a unique opportunity for President Obama to set a lasting and true legacy and respect the sovereignty and treaty rights of Standing Rock and tribal nations across America.”

On Election Day, Archambault had expressed a similar measure of hope after Tim Kaine, the running mate of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, joined Obama in suggesting that the pipeline be rerouted in an interview with Fusion. But Trump's historic victory on Tuesday closed off that particular avenue.

"The results of last night’s election indicate that we as a country have so much work to do,” Archambault said in the statement.


Chairman Dave Archambault II of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe addresses the media outside of the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., on October 5, 2016. Photo by Indianz.Com / Available for use under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Indian Country has joined the tribe in asking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reject a crucial easement for the pipeline that's been under review since late summer. They also want the agency to conduct a full environmental assessment of the project in order to address the impacts on sacred sites, burial grounds and water resources, something that hasn't occurred so far.

With the election out of the way, an answer from the agency is expected within weeks. But a negative decision is likely to draw litigation from Energy Transfer Partners -- whose executives continue to believe they will secure the easement -- or even interference from Congress, which remains in control of Republicans.

As the Obama administration continued to review the Keystone XL Pipeline, another controversial infrastructure project, Republican lawmakers passed legislation to approve it over the objections of Indian Country and environmental groups. But the president vetoed the measure, something that would likely not happen with Trump in the White House.

Trump, incidentally, is also vowing to revive Keystone XL within his first 100 days in office. The Canadian-based backers of the project have filed a claim against the United States that could be resolved in their favor if the new president makes good on his promise.

“We must strengthen our resolve to protect the water, pray together for understanding, and pour our hearts and minds into the future of all our children. This is what our ancestors did for us under extraordinarily difficult circumstances," Archambault, who had endorsed Clinton for president, said on Wednesday. "And we stand strong today as Lakota and Dakota people with our allies, advocating for those not yet born, and all our relatives who have no voice."

Trump will be inaugurated on January 20, 2017.

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