Dakota Access Lacks Permission to Cross Missouri River

Pat Powers, whose party has brought us Donald Trump, has the tone-deafness to complain about Dakota Access Pipeline opponents using “scare tactics” to achieve their political objectives. Har de har har.

The long-time Big Oil tool also says that because Dakota Access has followed the rule of law, the pipeline should go through.

Except Dakota Access hasn’t followed the rule of law. They don’t have permission from the Army Corps of Engineers to cross their property near the Cannonball-Missouri confluence:

Corps spokesman Larry Janis said the easement is still under review, though the agency did issue Section 408 permission in late July that allows the easement to be written.

“They can’t build the project by accessing corps property from west to east across Lake Oahe,” Janis said of any current construction.

…The realization that the company still does not have an actual easement surfaced Wednesday in a federal district court in Washington, D.C., where the Sioux tribe’s request for an injunction to stop the pipeline pending its suit against the corps was heard. The court judge said he wants more time to study whether the corps failed to follow the National Historic Preservation Act and other federal laws in its environmental review of the project. The judge said he will rule on the injunction Sept. 9.

“Everybody thought they had it (easement),” said attorney Carolyn Raffensperger, executive director of the Science and Environmental Health Network. “This is really important information” [Lauren Donovan, “Corps Says Pipeline Still Needs Water-Crossing Easement,” Bismarck Tribune, 2016.08.25].

Hmmm… so if protestors don’t have the right to enter that publci property to exercise their free speech rights, it appears that, right now, Dakota Access has even less right to occupy and disrupt that public land with its profit-making activities. Rule of law, right, Pat?

And if Dakota Access doesn’t have permission to cross Army Corps property, why have we let Dakota Access gash its trench across South Dakota farm fields without the certainty that they can complete the project?

12 Responses to Dakota Access Lacks Permission to Cross Missouri River

  1. Paul Seamans

    If Dakota Access doesn’t have an easement on Corps land should they be charged with criminal trespass? I don’t know whether it is Corps land where the water protectors were arrested but if it is then were they unlawfully arrested? Are North Dakota Governor Dalrymple and the ND Highway Patrol protecting the wrong parties?

  2. Cindy Myers

    If that site is Corps lands, it seems Dakota Access should be charged for trespassing and destruction of property. How about that Morton County Sheriff?

  3. I’m unclear: had Dakota Access actually started digging on the Corps land?

  4. Cory, there has been some dirt work done on the west side of the planned river crossing, at the site of the protests and arrests. There has been aerial photos taken and claims that the drill pad is in place and ready to go for tunneling under the river on the east side of the river crossing. The big protest camp is actually on Corps land. I believe it is likely the construction site where the protests and arrests happened is Corps land. The Bismarck Tribune suggested this is why Dakota Access withdrew construction from that site voluntarily.

  5. Paul Seamans

    I wished we could verify where the Corps land is. In many cases the Corps took ownership of land extending quite a ways back from the high water mark. As Cindy mentioned the Red Warrior camp is on Corps land that extends from the Missouri River to Highway 1806, a fair distance.

  6. Whether you call it unprofessional behavior and strong-arm tactics, Dakota Access has overstepped the boundaries of prudence in a rush to push their fossil fuels against the emerging tide of renewable energy. Its time to get onboard.

  7. Let us all hope this camp remains peaceful and this Sheriff of Morton does not bring in a bunch of recently deputized goons. I think people should be able to dig on federal land wherever they want, maybe these Dakota Access people who are sort of ironically named has mineral rights or something. But anybody should be able to cross the river any time they want to. Or camp where they want to.

  8. Paul Seamans

    Interesting thinking grudznick. Should they be responsible for cleanup costs or do we leave those costs to the government as has happened on the Brohm Mine superfund site?

  9. When I cross any river I try not to litter or leave a mess that needs cleaning up. I think everybody should be expected to behave at least as well as I. If you mean cleaning up from the digging, yes, they should put up a cash bond of a Brohmish size, funded by pay-day lenders

  10. Paul Seamans

    Made me laugh grud. Funded by pay day lenders under the 36% cap or the 18% cap?

  11. mike from iowa

    Who needs stinking permisso when Drumpf and wingnuts will just eliminate the Corps of Engineers and all regulations?

  12. Great commentary.
    Except one thing Why do you blame Trump? The People in the WH, BLM ,EPA,
    And most of the people in office Now are the problem. Vote them ALL out. Elected officials only care about how much MONEY they can make. Native land is the last thing they care about.. Vote Hillary and the incumbents to keep it going. Prayers for the protesters. Stay strong.