Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

The approval is a massive blow to DAPL opponents. (Photo: @IENearth/Twitter)

DAPL Opponents Vow 'Fierce Resistance' as Army Corps Grants Last Easement

Unless there is an injunction, construction could begin in 24 hours

Nadia Prupis

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Tuesday said it has notified Congress that it plans to grant Energy Transfer Partners the final easement to build the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

Bloomberg reports:

The company needs the easement to complete work under Lake Oahe, following President Donald Trump's memorandum that advised expediting review of the project. Trump took office promising to favor oil and natural gas developments as well as support new infrastructure, which has included reviving TransCanada Corp.'s Keystone XL pipeline.

Read the corps' letter to Congress here (pdf).

The approval is a massive blow to DAPL opponents, who have waged a months-long resistance to the pipeline on the grounds that it violates Indigenous treaty rights and threatens access to clean water.

Trump's order comes as reversal to actions taken by the Obama administration, which ordered the corps to conduct a full environmental review of the 1,172-mile pipeline before allowing construction to continue.

Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth, responded by stating, "Trump's reversal of the previous commitment to conduct an Environmental Impact Statement on the Dakota Access Pipeline is as sickening as it is predictable.

"The Standing Rock Sioux and Indigenous American peoples who have fought for their sacred tribal land and water rights deserve human dignity and a healthy future," Pica added. "We stand behind them in the #NoDAPL fight and will put financial pressure on the banks financing this destructive pipeline project. The people’s resistance to keep fossil fuels in the ground will not disappear."

Meanwhile, Dallas Goldtooth, an organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network, posted this reaction to the corps' decision via Facebook live:

According to CNBC, the move is "almost certain to spark a legal battle and could lead to clashes at camps near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, where hundreds of protesters are still camped out in opposition to the project."

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe said last week it would "pursue legal action" if the easement was granted.

The corps said it would terminate its plans to release the environmental impact statement.

Climate activist Brad Johnson wrote on Twitter that the corps is only giving the Senate 24 hours notice on the DAPL easement, rather than the required 14 days—which means that unless there is an injunction, construction will begin in 24 hours.

"By putting corporate polluter profits above the people's well-being, future, and access to clean, safe drinking water, Donald Trump is once again showing where his priorities lie," said Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune. "America's president should serve the people—not Big Oil—and the movement that has captured the nation's attention will continue to mobilize against Trump's anti-democratic agenda."

"Donald Trump's dangerous and legally questionable attempt to ignore the environmental review will be met with fierce resistance by a broad coalition of 300 tribes and millions of Americans in the court and on the streets," Brune said.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Coalition Urges Biden to Make 'Transformative Change' in Approach to Global Food and Agriculture

"This pro-corporate agriculture agenda must change under your watch."

Andrea Germanos ·


Mondaire Jones Warns Against Watering Down Human Infrastructure Proposals

The New York Democrat is advocating universal programs, not means-tested ones, for programs in the Build Back Better plan.

Andrea Germanos ·


Manchin Threatening Key Climate Provision: Reports

"To take it out is to decide that climate change isn't a problem."

Andrea Germanos ·


'Make a Gesture of Humanity': Pope Francis Urges Pharma Giants to Release Covid-19 Vaccine Patents

"There are countries where only three or four percent of the inhabitants have been vaccinated."

Andrea Germanos ·


Manchin Fumes After Sanders Op-Ed in West Virginia Paper Calls Out Obstruction of Biden Agenda

"Poll after poll shows overwhelming support for this legislation," wrote Sanders. "Two Democratic senators remain in opposition, including Sen. Joe Manchin."

Andrea Germanos ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo