The chairman of the Sioux tribe at the center of the Standing Rock environmental protests in North Dakota, David Archambault II, said his tribe was ready to sue the Trump administration for signing off on the most controversial part of the Dakota Access pipeline.
In an emailed statement, Archambault said, “We are a sovereign nation, and we will fight to protect our water and sacred places from the brazen private interests trying to push this pipeline through to benefit a few wealthy Americans with financial ties to the Trump administration.”
On Tuesday, in a court filing, the Army Corps of Engineers said they would grant the companies involved the easement needed to permit construction of the pipeline beneath Lake Oahe. This is the last significant easement required for completion of the controversial pipeline that has brought thousands of Americans to North Dakota to show solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe that has taken on the oil interests in a fight to protect their drinking water.
The fate of the project has taken an abrupt turn since President Trump took office. Before his swearing in, the Army Corps of Engineers said that more study was required to make a judgment on the final few hundred feet that would complete the project, United Press International reported.
Within a month of Trump’s taking office, the Army Corps of Engineers reversed their position on the $3.7 billion Energy Transfer Partners project, and a decision made all the more controversial by the point that President Trump had a financial stake in Energy Transfer Partners.
The Corps said that an environmental review ordered in December had been scrapped due to a presidential order. That order called for the Corps to streamline the review process.
“The tribe will challenge any easement decision because the environmental impact statement was wrongfully terminated,” UPI quoted Archambault as saying.