Over 70 arrested at Dakota Access Pipeline protest site, camp cleared

Our discussion comes almost two months since a federal agency effectively put the brakes on the DAPL pipeline, saying it would launch a lengthier environmental review.

The crude oil pipeline, which traverses Iowa diagonally from northwest to southeast on its way from North Dakota to IL, is almost done.

Opponents of the project, including the Standing Rock Sioux, claimed on Tuesday that Hoeven and Cramer were jumping the gun and that an environmental study underway must be completed before the permit can be granted. Developer Energy Transfer Partners says the pipeline is safe.

But earlier this week, acting Secretary of the Army Robert Speer ordered the corps to allow the work to go ahead.

However, then-Assistant Army Secretary for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy on December 4 declined to issue an easement, saying a broader environmental study was warranted in the wake of opposition by the Standing Rock Sioux. How do these moves fit into the broader Trump agenda for energy and the environment?

Last week, Trump signed executive actions to advance approval of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines, signaling that his administration is firmly committed to pursuing energy independence and deepening America's reliance on fossil fuels.

The move is likely to be challenged in court by the Standing Rock Sioux, who have spent months protesting the project along with supporters from around the country. Oil producers in Canada and North Dakota are expected to benefit from a quicker route for crude oil to U.S. Gulf Coast refiners.


"To abandon the [environmental impact statement] would amount to a wholly unexplained and arbitrary change based on the President's personal views and, potentially, personal investments", the tribe said in a statement Tuesday.

"Your memorandum issues these directives with the condition that these actions are carried out 'to the extent permitted by law, '" Archambault said.

"The group was given a period of time to start dismantling the camp and leave", the Morton County Sheriff's Department said in a statement Wednesday. The fight is no longer here, but in the halls and courts of the federal government.

"President Trump has proven to be a man of action and I am grateful for his commitment to this", Cramer said.

The tribe is trying to steer protesters to a March 10 event called the Rise with Standing Rock Native Nations March on Washington. According to North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum's office, those arrested were a "rogue group of some of the more aggressive elements of the protest camp".

On January 18, the group launched an initiative, calling upon members of the public to send their comments on DAPL project directly to the Army Corps of Engineers.

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