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.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Buddhist Monk and Peace Activist Thích Nhất Hạnh Dead at 95

"He inspired so many good people to dedicate themselves to working for a more just and compassionate world."

Jessica Corbett ·


Draft Order Shows Trump Considered Using Military to Seize Voting Machines

"This was part of the records that Trump was fighting to keep from the January 6th committee," one government watchdog noted.

Brett Wilkins ·


Groups Warn US Lawmakers Against Fueling 'New Cold War' With China

A policy of hostility toward Beijing, says a global justice advocate, has "become a convenient excuse for pushing a corporate, militarist agenda."

Jessica Corbett ·


Democracy 'On the Line' Says Bowman After Protest Arrest

"I will not stand by and I will not stay quiet while the fate of our democracy continues to hang loosely by a thread that the Senate is hellbent on tearing apart."

Julia Conley ·


To 'Hold Her Accountable for What She Did,' Primary Sinema Project Gets Into Gear

"Kyrsten Sinema is unfit to be a United States senator," the project asserts. "Just like the filibuster itself, we need to get rid of her if we want to save our democracy before it's too late."

Brett Wilkins ·

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