Native activists and allies participate in an #IndigenousRising round dance in front of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. on April 27, 2017. Photo by Indianz.Com (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Former U.S. Attorney urges energy industry to consult tribes in advance

A former U.S. Attorney and advocate for tribes spoke about the Dakota Access Pipeline at an energy development conference in North Dakota.

According to news accounts, Troy Eid urged energy companies to consult tribes before they start work on infrastructure projects. Changing routes and plans might be costly and time-consuming but it will save money and heartaches in the long run, he said.

“We’ve got to think differently about how we're going to get projects built,” Eid said at the Bakken Conference & Expo, The Bismarck Tribune reported. “I don’t think DAPL was a one-time adventure.”

The panel, which came on the last day of the conference, did not feature any tribal leaders or critics of the controversial pipeline. The conference itself did not include any representatives from Indian Country either, according to the agenda.

The pipeline started shipping oil on June 1 after the Trump administration approved the final portion in North Dakota. A federal judge has since ruled that the decision did not take into account issues raised by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.

A revised decision isn't likely until the end of the year, government attorneys wrote in a court filing on Monday. The tribes are seeking to stop the flow of oil until that happens but the Trump administration, the wealthy backers of the pipeline and industry groups oppose the request.

Eid served as U.S. Attorney for Colorado during the Bush administration. He was the first sitting U.S. Attorney to support the recognition of tribal jurisdiction over non-Indians. He now works in private practice.

Eid's wife, Allison Eid, has been nominated by President Donald Trump to serve on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. Tribes believe she will give their cases a fair shake if she is confirmed.

Read More on the Story:
Attorney encourages consultation with tribes on pipelines (The Bismarck Tribune 7/19)
Panel: Dakota Access-style protests could become commonplace (AP 7/19)

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