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Monday, December 05, 2016

#Still Standing at Standing Rock

Drone 2 B Wild: Drone Footage from Standing Rock

Over the past several months, we here at Thrasher's Wheat have closely followed the developments at Standing Rock and the Dakota Access Pipeline (see here, here, and here) as protesters moved closer to victory.

Last week, Neil Young and Daryl Hannah wrote a joint statement to U.S. President Barack Obama requesting that he intervene in the Standing Rock protest and halt construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Now -- just days after posting the letter and a series of benefit concerts -- it looks as if the pipeline project has been defeated and will likely be re-routed.

Dave Archambault, II, Chairman
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe:

Yesterday we were notified that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will not grant the easement to cross Lake Oahe for the Dakota Access pipeline. Instead, they will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement regarding alternative routes for the pipeline. This action strongly vindicates what the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has been saying all along – that we all have a responsibility to protect our waters for future generations.

This is an historic moment. For centuries, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and tribes across the country, have faced fundamental injustice at the hands of the federal government – which time and again took our lands and tried to destroy our way of life. Our Treaties and our human rights were ignored, our interests in protecting lands and waters were considered unimportant, and our voices were not heard.

It was this shared history that led Tribes to come together as never before to seek the protection of our waters against the threat of the Dakota Access pipeline. With peace and prayer, indigenous people from hundreds of Tribes said: our future is too important. We can no longer be ignored. The goal was to protect these sacred waters, and to do so in the name of our children.

And, with yesterday’s decision, it is clear that our voices have at long last been heard.

Yesterday’s decision demonstrates that, despite all the challenges that Tribes face and all of the terrible wrongs the federal government has committed in dealing with us over the years, justice for Indian people still remains possible. My thanks to the Obama Administration, and particularly to Assistant Secretary Darcy, for upholding the law and doing the right thing.

Yesterday’s decision belongs in large measure to the thousands of courageous people who put their lives on hold to stand with Standing Rock in support of a basic principle — that water is life. At Standing Rock, our youth played an important role in spreading our message and I am so proud of what they have been able to accomplish.

But Standing Rock could not have come this far alone. Hundreds of tribes came together in a display of tribal unity not seen in hundreds of years. And many thousands of indigenous people from around the world have prayed with us and made us stronger. I am grateful to each of you. And, as we turn a page with yesterday’s decision, I look forward to working with many of you as you return to your home communities to protect your lands and waters, and the sovereignty of your tribes.

My thanks to all of our allies, here and around the world, each of whom contributed to this effort. I want to give a special mention to the veterans who have come to Standing Rock in recent days. I am sure that the strength of your message in support of Standing Rock, and the rights of the Water Protectors, had a powerful impact as the Army made its decision. I appreciate all you have done.

While today is a great day, there is still much that needs to be done to protect Tribal rights and ensure justice for indigenous people everywhere. Using peace and prayer as our guideposts, and with the teachings of our elders and with inspiration from our youth, I believe there is much we can accomplish for the future.

Dave Archambault, II, Chairman
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
But it's not over until it's over.
Standing Rock Has No Confidence ETP Will Stop Drilling

DECEMBER 5, 2016

John Bigelow
Standing Rock Sioux

Water Protectors Dig In For the Long Haul

The Dakota Access Pipeline was denied the necessary permit to drill beneath the Missouri River by the Army Corps of Engineers (ACoE). The decision to deny the permit came from the Obama Administration. This represents an enormous victory for the communities of Standing Rock, and 18 million people living downstream of the proposed pipeline crossing.

According to the Army’s website, “Darcy [of the ACoE] said that the consideration of alternative routes would be best accomplished through an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) with full public input and analysis.”

Unfortunately, the lights are still on, and the helicopters are still buzzing overhead. Until we can go to the drill pad and see they’ve left – this is not over.

Although we are deeply pleased with this victory, we know this is one battle in the larger movement against injustice from the oil-based energy sector that has a tendency to prioritize profit over ecological safety and social responsibility. Trump’s Justice Department is unlikely to prioritize any lawsuit or penalties levied against DAPL should they drill against ACoE orders.

Congressman Kevin Cramer of North Dakota said, “Today’s unfortunate decision sends a very chilling signal to others who want to build infrastructure in this country.”

We could not agree more, Congressman. It is sad that infrastructure developers cannot seem to operate with respect to First Nations by consulting them properly and the environment that belongs to everyone by conducting full EIS. The Water Protectors felt chilled on many nights by the elements, and especially by the fire hoses used on us on November 20th. We’re happy you’ve felt something of what we have had to face to protect our sovereign land.

Energy Transfer Partners stated yesterday that they “are fully committed to ensuring that this vital project is brought to completion and fully expect to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around Lake Oahe. Nothing this Administration has done today changes that in any way.”

ETP has a responsibility to their investors. We have a responsibility to protecting water for future generations.

We are not going anywhere.

Mni wiconi!

~ #StillStanding at Standing Rock ~
This decision by the Army Corp of Engineers is not a complete victory. Finding an alternative route for the pipeline does not address the fact that an energy corporation has clearly broken the law by illegally using a loophole in the US Conservation Law in order to avoid having an independent environmental impact study done and thus threatens an environmental disaster by being allowed to continue.

So why not Take The Fork in the Road and Get on That "Peace Trail"?!

Onward. Solidarity.



At 12/06/2016 01:22:00 AM, Blogger Babbo B. said...

President-elect Donald Trump backs the Dakota Access Pipeline and will review a decision by the Obama administration to deny a permit for the project, a spokesman said.

After weeks of protests from Native Americans and environmental activists, the Army Corps of Engineers announced Sunday that it was refusing to let Energy Transfer Partners LP build a section of the project under Lake Oahe in North Dakota and would begin a lengthy environmental review. But that decision runs headlong into the pledge from Trump to greenlight new energy infrastructure.

The pipeline "is something we support construction of, and we will review the situation when we are in the White House to make the appropriate determination at that time," Jason Miller, a spokesman for the Trump transition team, told reporters Monday.

Trump has pledged to overhaul the nation’s energy policy in a way that favors oil and natural gas producers. He has also said he will find a way to reverse the Obama administration’s rejection of TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline, and overturn environmental regulations he blames for quashing energy production.

At 12/06/2016 02:59:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

So glad to see a small victory after so much violence and abuse from the Militarized Police there. Danger of drilling continues as the Pipeline builder vows to press on (?!). Thanks for sharing this, Thrasher. I can't wait for the new album, although nothing can compare to seeing the songs live with the electric band and Neil's Grungy Harmonica.

At 12/06/2016 10:16:00 AM, Blogger rustedbugs said...

........." it looks as if the pipeline project has been defeated and will likely be re-routed."

well that'd be great, but I don't think anyone thinks it's really over yet. Stand strong, brothers and sisters.........

At 12/06/2016 03:51:00 PM, Blogger sdak1 said...

How about we discuss the music that could be in the pipeline to the "Archives Reservoir"? I would much rather hear about some of that for a change after the insufferable election and "My Pillow" ads that we have all been subjected to. What ever happened to enjoying the good things in life? Enough with the protesting the pipeline in this forum. Leave it to the rest of the internet, TV or even a newspaper!!

At 12/06/2016 05:29:00 PM, Blogger Old Black said...

I am glad the First Nations were heard and recognized. But a pipeline, if it is built, will have to cross the Missouri River somewhere. If not there, then either upstream or downstream. And the same technology will be used - deep directional drilling underneath the river. Frankly, that is by far the safest way to transmit oil under or across the Missouri River. The alternative is what we now have - oil trains. The probability of an oil train spilling oil into the Missouri River is several thousand times more likely than a pipeline rupture.

Of course, many would like to see petroleum production in the Williston Basin stopped in the interest of affecting global warming. That is a different argument. Those of us who subscribe to man-induced global warming (of which I am one of), do so because science supports it. Science also supports the efficacy of modern pipeline construction and spill response. We can't pick and chose our science and our facts. It undermines our positions. If we are to make headway in convincing others about the realities and consequences of global warming, we also have to be prepared to accept scientifically grounded risk analyses and hydrology/hydrogeology with respect to pipelines if we are to move forward in this discussion.

At 12/06/2016 09:46:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Thanks Babbo, Alan, rustedbugs & Old Black.

@ sdak1 - yes, some Archives discussion would be nice. Where would you like to start?

In the meantime...

"There’s a battle raging on the sacred land
Our brothers and sisters have to take a stand
Against us now for what we all been doing
On the sacred land there’s a battle brewing

I wish somebody would share the news
I wish somebody would share the news
I wish somebody would share the news"

At 12/08/2016 05:35:00 AM, Blogger Alan said...

Hello? This is exactly what Neil Young is talking about on his new album, Peace Trail. If you are a hard core Neil Young fan, which we are, you're damn well gonna be discussing the socio-political issues brought front and center in his new album. We like Neil's environmental activism and we salute it. I am so proud of Neil Young being a warrior for Mother Earth. -Alan


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