Following a federal court’s ruling last week on unlawful permits, Indigenous leaders continue push to end Dakota Access Pipeline
Washington, D.C. – The Indigenous Environmental Network, in coordination with the D.C.- based Rising Hearts Coalition, the Hip Hop Caucus, and Earth Justice, among other Water Protectors rallied today at the U.S. District Courthouse in support of Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne Sioux Tribes, as they seek to end Dakota Access Pipeline.
A U.S. district court judge ruled last week that the Army Corps of Engineers failed to complete a thorough environmental review and that the agency unlawfully expedited permits needed to finish the pipeline. In the historic ruling, the judge cited environmental justice arguments made by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and its allies that the Corps failed to consider oil spill impacts on treaty fishing and hunting rights and therefore violated environmental laws and treaty rights.
Jordan Marie Daniel, Rising Hearts, founder & organizer emceed the event and commented, “We stand resolute in our support for Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes in their fight to protect indigenous rights, and our planet. Their battle is on behalf of all of us who share this planet. As the fight against placing corporate interests above the health, safety and well-being of entire communities and the quest to end the assault against the earth we share moves forward. We stand with these Nations, and the millions who have supported them, in solidarity. The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes battle for justice, and responsible stewardship of lives and resources is on behalf of us all. The fight is not over and will continue to generate awareness and push for alternative, clean renewable just solutions. We support the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes, 100 percent.”
Dallas Goldtooth, lead national organizer for the Indigenous Environmental Network, stated, “”The fight against Energy Transfer Partners and its Dakota Access pipeline is not over, nor is it an easy fight ahead. We know that we face an uphill legal battle to victory, but we remain committed to the protection of the water and the power of our movement to keep fossil fuels in the ground. We support the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes in this fight and will continue to stand with them through the end.”
In another positive development towards shutting down the pipeline, today’s hearing establishes a process for the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a thorough environmental review of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The court emphasized that the agency should ensure the tribes have input in the review, and to consider studies that speak to the environmental justice impacts of the pipeline on Indigenous treaty rights to inform their analysis publicly, not behind closed doors.
Today’s hearing also created a schedule debating a second question surrounding the permits issued for the pipeline. Both the tribes and Energy Transfer Partners will argue as to whether to vacate the opinion expediting permits, which would ultimately shut down the pipeline. The final decision is expected in September of this year.
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