Published March 7, 2017
WASHINGTON – With thousands of American Indians arriving in Washington, D.C. this week to participate in a protest against the Dakota Access pipeline, on Tuesday, March 7, 2017, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg denied an injunction brought by the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes to halt construction on the pipeline.
The tribes argued that the pipeline, referred to by water protectors as the “black snake,” constructed under Lake Oahe violates their tribal citizens the right to practice their ceremonies, which are reliant on clean water and asked the judge to suspend construction until their claim could be resolved. The tribes wanted the judge to have the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers its permission for Energy Transfer Partners to put the pipeline under Lake Oahe near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation near Cannon Ball, North Dakota.
“Cheyenne River’s religious-exercise claim … involves a government action — granting an easement to Dakota Access to build and operate a pipeline — regarding the use of federal land —the land under Lake Oahe — that has an incidental, if serious, impact on a tribe’s ability to practice its religion because of spiritual desecration of a sacred site,” Judge Boasberg writes in his decision.
Dakota Access, the company building the pipeline, had already “modified the pipeline workspace and route more than a hundred times in response to cultural surveys and Tribes’ concerns regarding historic and cultural resources,” Boasberg writes.
Rerouting the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) around the lake “would be more costly and complicated than it would have been months or years ago.”
“Trump and his friends at Big Oil have not won,” Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault said in response to the judge’s ruling.
Oil company’s representatives say oil may flow through the pipeline as early as next week.
Click HERE to read the decision.