Following recent comments by the President to online news outlet, NowThis, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce slammed President Obama’s disregard for the legal process that approved and permitted construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
In their release, the Chamber stated, “The point of the rule of law is to protect rights by having a known, understandable, and certain process.”
It’s criticism we’ve leveled before at the Administration, and the chorus of voices in opposition to the wave of the proverbial scepter of the presidency only continues to grow as laborers, law enforcement, and members of the business community speak out against the president’s sweeping statements and extrajudicial actions.
The Chamber’s release also quoted MAIN Coalition spokesman Craig Stevens who stated, “While a reroute sounds simple enough, it is in fact incredibly difficult, time intensive, costly and may actually be impossible.”
The route was determined following a series of studies and hearings in North Dakota, and a lengthy approval process with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Though lengthy and thorough, that legal process allowed for all sides to submit input on the pipeline and express concerns to authorities with jurisdiction over the project. At no time did the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe engage in the process to express concerns at the state level, and following consultations with the Corps, the Tribe often refused to attend meetings on the project.
This is not the kind of behavior that should be rewarded, nor should the Chief Executive of the United States bow to the actions of rioters. President Obama should enforce the laws on the books, and should he want to propose legal changes to the process, it should not retroactively affect an already approved project like the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Plain and simple; this pipeline was approved by a legal process, and the President should respect the rule of law.
Several more weeks of chaos isn’t something North Dakota can afford, and a growing group of law-abiding individuals now including the business community has made it clear: enough is enough.