Tomorrow in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., a judge will hear a plea from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe for a restraining order against the Dakota Access project.
Yet video from violent protests this past weekend shows the tribal protesters aggressively pursuing and assaulting the company who were doing work on private land where they have easements. Shouldn’t the restraining order instead be issued to Dakota Access?
The project – announced more than 800 days ago – was approved by four state bodies and the federal Government and is more than 22 percent constructed. The government consulted with the tribe and conducted numerous cultural surveys to design a route that did not disturb cultural remains.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has had countless opportunities to take part in the process and instead chose not to answer the company’s many attempts to work together. Even now the tribe is failing to articulate any alternatives. Some within the tribe believe the tribal leaders are acting out for publicity and should use their platform to do good for the tribal members and local community. Most agree that the pipeline would deliver tremendous benefits including increasing safety by taking trains and trucks carrying crude oil off the rails and roads.
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman David Archambault should restrain his own members and not waste time in court on a needless restraining order against the company. The lawless acts of the tribe against the company are despicable and must end. We ask Chairman Archambault to take a stand, show leadership, and hold the ranks of his members accountable for the violence.
There is always a better way.