Some Aberdeen neighbors gathered at the courthouse yesterday afternoon to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline. Among the many reasons we should oppose this pipeline—eminent domain for private profit, addiction to fossil fuels, risk to clean water, militarized violence against protestors—we should add defying the President of the United States:
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has confirmed to DeSmog that Energy Transfer Partners, the owner of the proposed Dakota Access pipeline, has ignored the Obama administration’s September 9 request to voluntarily halt construction in a disputed area, 20 miles east and west of Lake Oahe and the Missouri River.
The confirmation came in the aftermath of a video published by drone pilot Shiyé Bidziil on the news website Indian Country Today titled, “Drone Footage of Dakota Access Pipeline Approaching Missouri River.” Published November 2, this video offers an airborne view of pipeline construction — coupled with heavily guarded concrete fortresses around key construction locales — in close proximity to the Missouri River [Steve Horn, “Dakota Access Pipeline Builder Ignored Obama Admin Request to Halt Construction,” DeSmogBlog, 2016.11.05].
I’d love to hear President Obama step in and say, “This time, I’m not asking you, I’m telling you.”
But suppose we do stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. What happens to the hundreds of miles of pipe already in the ground? The pipe is all laid in South Dakota—perhaps we turn that East River hypotenuse into a high-speed transit system to shoot hunters one at a time from Sioux Falls to Winfred, Redfield, and Herreid for pheasant season?