Thousands Protest Dakota Access Pipeline at Missouri-Cannonball Confluence in ND

Protestors—some participants prefer the term protectors—have gathered on 50 acres north of Cannonball, North Dakota, near the confluence of the Cannonball and Missouri rivers, to fight the Dakota Access pipeline, which is being built across North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois to carry Bakken oil to market. Dakota Access opponents, including well-known Indian activists Dennis Banks and Debra White Plume, say the pipeline threatens water supplies as it crosses the Missouri River and other prairie waterways. Tribal opponents say the Army Corps of Engineers failed to consult with tribes to ensure Dakota Access would not harm tribal cultural resources.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose reservation is just a half-mile from the pipeline, asked the North Dakota Department of Health to provide support for health and safety for the protestors, now estimated to number around 4,000. North Dakota initially sent water tanks, two air-conditioned trailers, and a command center vehicle, but the state has withdrawn that support and is not allowing trucks to enter the protest camp to clean portable toilets.

The protest is taking place on land belonging to the Army Corps of Engineers, right next to the Standing Rock reservation. The Morton County sheriff says that overtime for police manning the protest and a checkpoint on Highway 1806 is costing his office $100K a week. Police are coming from around the state, including Grand Forks, to add security. The sheriff has accused protestors of planning to throw explosives at law enforcement and is investigating two alleged incidents of unknown individuals pointing lasers at aircraft overhead to blind pilots. Indian Country Today offers a far more peaceful portrait of the protest camp and interactions between pipeline opponents and law enforcement. Jack Healy of the New York Times reports that “More than 20 people have been arrested on charges including disorderly conduct and trespassing, but Dallas Goldtooth, who helped protest Keystone XL, tells the New York Times that the Dakota Access protest is “100 percent peaceful and ceremonial” with “no drugs or alcohol allowed” in the predominantly Native protest camp:

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is in federal court in Washington, D.C., this morning seeking an injunction against further Dakota Access construction until the Army Corps of Engineers conducts a proper cultural resource survey. Pipeline construction is already on pause as Dakota Access and protestors await a hearing in U.S. District Court in North Dakota, now delayed to September 8, to determine the merits of the pipeline company’s request for an injunction against protestors who interfere with construction activities. The company is also suing Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault and other protestors for monetary damages.

Dakota Access has already torn its diagonal across eastern South Dakota and Iowa. Farmers in Iowa, pushed to allow the pipeline on their land by threats of eminent domain, say Dakota Access is refusing to properly separate soils excavated from their 20-foot-deep pipeline trench and are thus damaging their soil quality and future crop yields.

All this fuss to install fossil-fuel infrastructure that, thanks to fuel efficiency and artificial photosynthesis, could be obsolete within our lifetimes.

41 Responses to Thousands Protest Dakota Access Pipeline at Missouri-Cannonball Confluence in ND

  1. wow. 450k bbls bakken crude reputing under Missouri river and reservoirs…naw…it could never happen unless the industry takes cost cutting dangerous short cuts like BP when it destroyed the gulf and gulf coast. leave it to Indians in poverty to take a stand!!

    I guess you can take the Sitting Bull away from the people but you can’t take the people out of Sitting Bull. Go Chairman Archambault

  2. Dallas Gold Tooth, 1491s has been fighting for Indian rights for a long time, including previous pipelines. he appears to protect himself with the Sundance tradition rather than a concealed weapon like you.

  3. Donald Pay

    I know it’s frustrating for state officials, but tribes have government to government relationships almost exclusively with the federal government, not with states. These relationships developed from the federal constitution and treaties signed prior to statehood.

  4. It is good that there are many protesters, but there should be 1,000,000 more. It is long past time to stomp this dangerous snake into the hell in which it belongs.

  5. mikeyc, that's me!

    And executive order 13175.

  6. Roger Cornelius

    Sioux Tribes have been protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline for longer than 13 months.
    As far as not showing up for the Public Service Commission hearings I don’t know if that is a fact. Even if it is true that tribes didn’t show up it is likely that the tribes don’t recognize the commission as the final authority for the pipeline.
    Friends at the front have been reporting that cell phone service has been blocked or greatly diminished from the campsite.
    As I type this, water trucks and disposal services are being transported to the campsite from as far away as Rapid City.
    The Lakota, Nakota, and Dakota tribes of the Dakotas have united in a tremendous effort to stop this dangerous pipeline. Along with these protectors, tribes from around the country are showing up to express their support or providing funds for needed supplies.
    I was particularly pleased to learn that my own tribe, the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, sent a delegation to Mandan.

  7. Robert McTaggart

    The “artificial photosynthesis” from that link is essentially using PV electricity to separate hydrogen, and then feeding the hydrogen to microbes to make biofuel. Likely you would still need to mix that biofuel with ~15% gasoline.

    You would also need to transport that new liquid fuel by pipeline, truck, or rail. I don’t know if an isobutanol spill is much of an improvement over a petroleum spill.

  8. Obama just made a new national park in Maine, why not declare the Missouri River and its tributaries as a national park to protect it and us from those that don’t care about water and the folks that drink it.

  9. Paul Seamans

    The Standing Rock’s main complaint in its lawsuit is that the Army Corps of Engineers did not conduct proper consultations. You don’t just call up the tribal office and talk to whoever answers the phone and then call that consultation. There are certain strict protocols that must be adhered to in consultation.

    Think of it as a nation to nation meeting, like treaty discussions with a country like Russia.
    Many ground rules need to be laid down before our president would ever set foot in the same room as Russia’s premier. The judge in DC today delayed a decision until Sep 9th so that he can study the consultation issue.

  10. Right, the Native’s started this protest! Give us all a break. They have been used again by the far left environmental extremists. Just like the Sioux nickname controversy, the liberal left knows what is best for the Native population. They had plenty of time to voice their concerns, which there were none until the environmentalists got ahold of them. I certainly hope everyone protesting and those going to Washington DC either got their on foot, horseback (hopefully the horses didn’t pass any harmful gasses) or by electric cars (with electricity not supplied by that evil coal)!!

  11. Stum are you suggesting the Native Americans don’t bother to care about the environment until someone on the “far left” forces them to?

    If so, I have a hard time believing you have ever bothered to spend any time near Native Americans.

  12. Paul Seamans

    Stumcfar, it is evident that you don’t have a clue what you are talking about. The Indian people have always been concerned about our water and the environment. For you to suggest that they are being lead astray by others is to suggest that they can’t think for themselves. Maybe it is time for you to get to know the Indian people. The Red Warrior camp is about half way between Mobridge and Mandan. Stop in, share a meal, you will be welcomed. It may help dispel some of your stereotypes.

  13. Stop it! Certainly they can think for themselves, but if you truly believe that this protest is all their doings, then I can understand why there are very few Democrats holding office in South Dakota, if they are all as naïve as the rest of you. Quit always attacking those who disagree with you and think things through once in awhile!

  14. We all live downstream

  15. Paul Seamans

    Stumcfar, I was invited as a guest of the tribe to attend a meeting at Ft. Yates in March of this year concerning the DAPL crossing the Missouri River. I have attended other meetings since then. I can assure you that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is nobody’s pawn. Not Earth Justice, not so called environmental extremists, nobody else is pulling the SRST’s strings. This has been the Standing Rock’s baby from the get go. I don’t put a lot of stock in what this uninformed blogger has to say.

  16. Roger Cornelius

    Tribal nations have always been the leaders for environmental protection of mother earth, it is and always has been the center of our culture.
    Indians were the originators of environmental protection before there were far lefties or radical environmentalists.
    Tribes aren’t known to follow anyone, note that it is environmental groups, the ACLU, Amnesty International and 90 other tribes joining the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, not the other way around.
    This protest isn’t just about Indians, it is about Indians wanting to protect drinking water for all citizens.
    Pipelines leak, there is no denying that, if opponents to the pipeline protests want to take the risk of contamination, they need to rethink their priorities.

  17. Well stum if you’re going to make accusations that the Native population didn’t “start” this protest or that they are being “used” by far left environmental extremists then by all means post your evidence. The link you provided does no such thing.

    What’s the matter stum… you don’t think the tribes care enough to stand up and have their voices heard without being handed marching orders from others? If you honestly believe that you haven’t been paying attention.

  18. Stumcfar, your lack of information and racist stereotypical attitudes are very sad. You are to be pitied because your blindness is so limiting your opportunities to know people of other ethnic groups or to know the truth about oil pipelines and probably a host of other topics. I am just shaking my head at your willful ignorance!

  19. And we have a WINNER! I was wondering how long it would take to fall back on the liberal crutch that everyone who disagrees is a racist!!! It actually took a little longer than I thought it would. I am glad you all can continue to support a party that takes advantage of every minority group while calling everyone else racist. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so sad! Continued naivety will once again put a Democrat in the White House and the country will continue down the path of self destruction.

  20. How do you like your Medicare stum? That was pretty liberal of you to take it.

  21. stum it seems you are lumping all Natives into a group and suggesting they aren’t capable of making their own decisions. You also suggest that they are able to manipulated into protesting things they otherwise wouldn’t have protested without the help from the “far left”. That in itself suggests you consider Native Americans to be separate group which is distinct from the “left” or environmentalists. You are clearly singling them out as an entire race and making generalizations about all Natives.

    Sorry stum – if you don’t want to be called a racist, then don’t make racist statements.

    That said, it appears you are doing nothing other than trolling and trying to get people to call you racist. So once again you don’t contribute to further the discussion, but instead you do so for your own amusement. Your desire to continually shift the subject towards you is nothing other than childish and sad.

  22. You have never answered one of my questions on here. You have always skirted around the issues. Are you telling me there are no outside protesters there? Are you trying to make us believe that every protester is from that reservation? I don’t come on here to troll, I come on here to try show there is a whole different world out there other than this utopia that lives in your mind. I will let you 9 Democrats from South Dakota have your little naïve lovefest on here and will not bother you anymore. I can see more that one side to an argument is one too many for most of you to consider or acknowledge. I have been called more names on here by those who are inclusive and caring. Democrats are the party of no, the party of name calling and the party of calling everyone a hater, a racist or having a phobia name for every argument that isn’t in line with your thinking. Instead of seeing the other side of every story sleep well at night knowing that you will only have to listen to those who believe exactly like you, but have fun getting elected. Peace out!

  23. stum if you want questions answered you need to ask questions. Read your posts above again and let me know where you have asked any.

    I, on the other hand, have asked several direction questions at you which you have ignored. That shows you aren’t interested in having a discussion.

    As far as name calling, the comments towards you have been nothing but civil. You were the first to start calling people naive just as you continue to insult the commenters here with your latest comment. When your comments are shown to be racist, it isn’t an insult to label them as such. That isn’t an insult, it is merely a fact.

    If you’re interested in having a mature discussion then by all means we can do that, but when you start your comments off by making unsubstantiated statements and accusing Native Americans of being manipulated and you continually try to attack the Democratic party via your childish insults then you will find it increasingly difficult to find anyone willing to take you seriously. You can’t blame others for your own words and your own actions.

  24. Stumcfar–you are to be pitied, for sure. You are pitiful!

  25. Just to ensure you get the answers you are looking for (from your latest comment – the only one where you actually asked a question) – I’ll break them out here:

    stum: “Are you telling me there are no outside protesters there?”

    Of course not and I don’t recall anyone making that accusation. However you are suggesting that the Native Americans wouldn’t be there at all if it were not for the “far left environmentalists”. That isn’t fair nor based in fact. You have provided no evidence in support of that view.

    What we do know is that Natives have been vocal about their opposition to this project for months and months. The only difference now is that they are getting a bit more press, but the viewpoints held by many in the tribes has not changed.

    stum: “Are you trying to make us believe that every protester is from that reservation?”

    Again nobody has made such an accusation. I’m sure there are people from many different areas and many different races all of which are protesting against something they disagree with. We know there are protesters from other tribes, other cities, and other states. I have no idea what the affiliation is of every protester which is why I’m not making blanket assumptions about them.

  26. Roger Cornelius

    If stum would have read and comprehended Cory’s post and my comments he would know exactly who some of the protectors from outside the reservation are.
    In addition to those mentioned in my comments are a group of non-Indians from Rapid City that have traveled to Mandan to show their support and provide supplies.
    Stum refuses to acknowledge that this protest is not just about Indians, it is about all of us that want to keep our drinking water safe from contamination.
    Stum feels can come on here and insult me and my fellow tribesmen with his insults and hate, if that is his position he can expect to be called out for it.

  27. I saw some pictures that had all sorts of people at this Cannonball running all over. They probably weren’t all Indians. But I, for one, did like the pictures of the Indians on the horses the best. Good for them. grudznick applauds.

  28. Paul Seamans

    Late yesterday the Bismarck Tribune came out with a story in which the Army Corps of Engineers says that Dakota Access does not have a written permit to cross the Missouri River. Does DAPL even have the right to be on Corps land next to the river crossing? Were the wrong people being arrested for trespassing?

  29. The tribes are clearly playing a key role in this protest. They are clearly receiving help from non-tribal allies. Why fault Indians for making friends and building coalitions? Roger Cornelius is right to point out the leadership role tribes have been taking on environmental issues. Stu appears to be back to his old tricks, trying to boil a complicated policy discussion down to his preferred simplistic hobbyhorses and generic imprecations against the Liberal Left.

  30. The tribes are clearly playing a key role in this protest. They are clearly receiving help from non-tribal allies. Why fault Indians for making friends and building coalitions? Roger Cornelius is right to point out the leadership role tribes have been taking on environmental issues. Paul has been there; he’s seen the good advocacy that our tribal neighbors have been doing and the bridges they have been building. Stu appears to be back to his old tricks, trying to boil a complicated policy discussion down to his preferred simplistic hobbyhorses and generic imprecations against the Liberal Left.

  31. Don Coyote

    @Paul Seamans: In a story dated Aug 18, the original route that was proposed was north of Bismarck and the Corp determined that that crossing was not viable due to the proximity of the pipeline to groundwater wellheads of municipal water supplies.

    “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers evaluated the Bismarck route and concluded it was not a viable option for many reasons. One reason mentioned in the agency’s environmental assessment is the proximity to wellhead source water protection areas that are avoided to protect municipal water supply wells.”

    According to the same news article, Dakota Access is permitted for the crossing that is being protested.

    “The corps, which issued a permit for the water crossing, said the pipeline will be installed 92 feet below the riverbed with horizontal directional drilling methods to minimize impacts. The Corps also noted safeguards that will be in place, including remote monitoring of the pipeline and emergency response plans.

    “Given the engineering design, proposed installation methodology, quality of material selected, operations measures and response plans the risk of an inadvertent release in, or reaching, Lake Oahe is extremely low,” the corps concluded.”

  32. Paul Seamans

    Good point Don Coyote. The Bismarck route was rejected because it was a threat to the city’s drinking water. So DAPL moves the route to within a mile of Standing Rock’s Missouri River water intake. In essence transferring the problem from Bismarck to the people of Standing Rock and those downstream from there.

    If Energy Transfer Partners weren’t so damn arrogant they could have avoided this problem by staying on the east side of the Missouri River and avoided this headache.

  33. funny thing Don C… i bet the ACE said the same thing about the pipelines crossing the yellowstone…


  34. Don Coyote

    @Dave: Funny thing Dave, the Poplar Pipeline was originally buried only 8′ below the river bed and had been exposed by river current scouring. The Dakota Access pipeline will be 92′ below the riverbed, 11X the depth of Poplar.

  35. Paul Seamans

    The Keystone 1 pipeline was only 4 feet below the ground near Freeman. It still leaked. How do you repair a leak 92 feet below the river floor?

    In case of a leak how do you clean up 92 feet of contaminated soil that is under water. This whole river crossing is just a bad idea.

  36. well paul, yah just weld Chinese steel pipe(cheaper), and joints under right of ways are sized so welds are often flawed, and then keep the press away from the eventual spill site. once the oil surfaces we’ll know there is a leak 92 feet below. if not we could watch for a sheen on the water at pierre.

    lets just not say, for no reason, “Democrats are the party of no”. the obstructionist republican party is really the party of “no”

  37. mike from iowa

    You would also need to transport that new liquid fuel by pipeline, truck, or rail. I don’t know if an isobutanol spill is much of an improvement over a petroleum spill.

    Well, I am certain that wingnuts are all for another spill just so they can stick another feather in their caps. We need to have every imaginable spill to see if any actually harm the environment. And if our friends in Big Awl make billions in profits,at Mother Nature’s expense, that is what ‘murrica is all about. Profit. Bloody profit.

  38. 92 feet below the riverbed? How do they get that deep? Horizontal drilling?

  39. Hmmm… North Dakota’s PSC approval says DAP is to be bored 35 feet below the riverbed at its northern crossing of the Missouri and 64 feet below its southern crossing.