Cramer Says Trump Administration Will Act Quickly to Resume, Complete DAPL

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Kevin Cramer said Friday he thinks the Trump administration will act swiftly to resume and complete construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

On a Fargo radio show Friday morning, Creamer said he expects the Environmental Impact Study, granted earlier this week under the Obama administration, will be rescinded, possibly as soon as Monday.

He said that the easement to drill under Lake Oahe would be ordered and issued next week, and that construction to finish the line would begin soon.

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Tribal Council Supports Asking Protesters to Leave Cannonball

FORT YATES — The Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council unanimously voted to support the district of Cannon Ball in asking all Dakota Access Pipeline protesters to leave the area and canceling plans for a nearby winter camp.

“All the individuals at all the camps in and around Cannon Ball need to leave the district,” residents wrote in a 10-point resolution passed during an executive session of a district meeting Wednesday night. “The building of an alternative site for the camp(s) within the Cannon Ball District is not needed or wanted. If there is to be any kind of a ‘site’ for the commemoration of this historic event that took place with all the tribes, the people of Standing Rock need to vote on where, what and cost before any ‘shanty town is built.'”

The resolution, approved by the full council Friday, applies to all of the protest camps in the area: Oceti Sakowin, Rosebud and Sacred Stone.

The majority of those from the camps who spoke said they respected the council’s decision and shook hands with them.

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Democrats, Republicans United On Dakota Access

North Dakota Senators John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp are not letting the latest attempt to derail the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline go unnoticed.

The Obama administration Wednesday threatened to further delay the critical infrastructure project by ordering the Department of the Army to publish a Notice of Intent to require an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in the Federal Register. A move that sidesteps the professionals at the Army Corps of Engineers who have already concluded that the project will result in no significant impacts. In fact, the career civil servants at the Army Corps actually recommended that the easement be approved, but were silenced in the face of politics.

Hoeven, a republican, criticized the move, saying it amounted to changing the rules in the middle of a pre-established process. “The company has complied with all federal and state requirements, and should now be allowed to complete the project,” he said in a statement. “Since the current administration will not issue the final easement, the Trump administration should approve it without delay.”

He added that adjustments to the permitting process could be considered going forward, but should not be applied retroactively to a project that has already received approval. “Pipelines like the Dakota Access Pipeline can be built safely and protect both the tribe and everyone living downstream,” he said. “A new EIS will impose months, and perhaps years, of additional difficulty on the people who live and work in the pipeline area.”

Across the aisle, Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp echoed Hoeven, saying that the administration’s “legally unprecedented” effort would only promote continued division and delay. “Removing decision-making from the U.S. Army Corps District Office and looking at an issue not properly before the Corps does not provide the certainty, or the security North Dakotans need or that the protesters are seeking,” she said.

“Whether you agree with this position or not, President-elect Trump has not minced words about his support for the project, or his intent to take quick action on the issue, and the outgoing Administration knows that this move only stand to further deepen the divides in our state.”

It should not go unnoticed that, even in a state of political polarization, democrats and republicans agree that construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline should be completed without further delay.


Pipeline Supporters Blast Obama, Can’t Wait for Trump

The Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now is blasting the Obama Administration for requesting an Environmental Impact Statement on the Dakota Access Pipeline, which could further slow completion of the project.

Environmental activists and pipeline protesters have been pushing a mailing blitz to demand that the Army Corps of Engineers complete the impact study. A recent tweet indicates that Obama will force the issue.

The MAIN Coalition represents labor, business and ag interests, and has promoted the controversial pipeline project. Spokesperson Craig Stevens, in a statement sent to the Pilot-Tribune, said Obama’s action at the end of his presidency is inappropriate.

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Hoeven: Obama Administration Trying to Delay DAPL Again by Changing the Rules

WASHINGTON — Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement in response to the Obama administration and Assistant Secretary for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy’s decision to require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to do an environmental impact statement (EIS) prior to issuing an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline project:

“The Obama administration is again trying to delay the Dakota Access Pipeline project by changing the rules. The company has complied with all federal and state requirements and should now be allowed to complete the project. Since the current administration will not issue the final easement, the Trump administration should approve it without delay.

 

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Governor Meets with Landowners Affected by Dakota Access Protests

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum recently joined Morton County Commissioners Cody Schulz and Bruce Strinden, as well as Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier for a meeting with area residents affected by the month’s long protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

In a statement, the Morton County Board of Commissioners said more than 50 farmers, ranchers, and rural landowners attended the gathering to share their experiences and concerns about the future. Attendees’ spoke of vandalized equipment, missing livestock, trespassing, as well as the stress placed upon families from numerous school lockdowns stemming from protest activities.

“I was very pleased and encouraged by the meeting,” said Morton County Commission Chairman Cody Schulz in a statement. “The discussion was very honest and frank. People are frustrated, and in some cases scared, but I am just so thankful that people took the time to attend. I’m also grateful to the Governor for taking the time to truly hear the concerns of Morton County residents.”

Going forward, landowners said they remain worried about their safety and the process for holding those responsible for unlawful activity accountable.

“I’m glad I got to hear some of the specific concerns of the farmers and ranchers,” said Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier. “We will continue to do everything necessary to keep our citizens safe. Public safety has been my top priority from the very beginning, and it will continue to be.”

Unfortunately, pipeline opponents continue to engage in illegal activities that have resulted in numerous arrests. Most recently, protesters attempted to trespass onto private property before destroying private property and endangering law enforcement personnel stationed on the Backwater Bridge.


MAIN Coalition Statement on Notice of EIS for the Dakota Access Pipeline

MAIN Coalition spokesman Craig Stevens issued the following statement following news that the Obama administration has sent the Federal Register a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement on the Dakota Access Pipeline:

“Despite the policies of the last few years being soundly rejected by the American people, the Obama Administration is using its final hours to allow detainees out of U.S. protection, burrow democratic operatives deep in the federal bureaucracy, and now delay and block lawful infrastructure projects from completion.

“The Coalition certainly believes that the Trump Administration, the courts, and the public will recognize this latest political stunt for what it is – a flailing attempt for relevance. It’s unfortunate that the outgoing administration would try to hamstring the professionals at the Army Corps of Engineers who worked diligently for years to ensure the Dakota Access Pipeline was sited and constructed in the environmentally and culturally sensitive manner.

“We remain optimistic that the incoming Trump Administration will soon issue the final easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline and also demonstrate a willingness to support American infrastructure projects and the American jobs that go along with them.

“Thankfully for the hard-working men and women across the country desperate for a change, hope is finally on the horizon.  Soon we will have a federal government that works for the people – not one that obstructs growth, entrepreneurship, and ingenuity.”

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Increased Energy Production Underscores Need for DAPL

Domestic crude oil production will grow by an estimated 400,000 barrels per day (b/d) over the next two years according to a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

In the latest edition of the Short-Term Energy Outlook, the EIA said that the U.S. produced averaged an estimated 8.9 million b/d in 2016 and is forecast to rise to 9.0 million b/d in 2017 and 9.3 million b/d in 2018. The upward trend is in part due to increasing tight oil productivity in areas like North Dakota’s Bakken region. According to the EIA, the growth in production is a result of more drilling activity, rig efficiency, and well-level productivity.Growth in domestic production continues to be huge asset to the U.S. economy, sending gas prices to historic lows, stimulating the manufacturing sector, and allowing American foreign policy to be conflicted by the nation’s energy needs. However, this uptick, particularly in the Bakken region, cannot be sustained without the necessary pipeline infrastructure needed to safely and efficiently move resources to critical refining markets across the country.

The state-of-the-art Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) will support American energy independence in a way that guarantees protections for both our communities and the environment.


New North Dakota Governor Expects Controversial Pipeline To Be Built

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, who took office last month in the height of tensions surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline, said he believed the line would eventually be built and asked opponents to clean their protest camp before spring floodwaters create a potential ecological disaster.

A centrist Republican with no prior political experience, Burgum was elected in a landslide on a platform of streamlining government and improving relations across the state. Burgum built a successful software business before selling it to Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) in 2001.

Burgum told Reuters that approval of the pipeline appeared to be a foregone conclusion once Donald Trump moved into the White House.

“I expect the world’s going to change dramatically on that day relative to finding resolution on this issue,” Burgum said in an interview. “I would expect that (Energy Transfer Partners (ETP.N)) will get its easement and it will go through.”

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Group Requests Details On “Backroom Dealings” Before DAPL Permit Decision

Few members of the Standing Rock Sioux have as many ties to Washington, D.C. as Jodi Gillette, the sister of the tribe’s chairman, Dave Archambault II. When Gillette retired from her position in the Obama White House, Bismarck’s paper wrote that “Jodi Gillette probably has been more involved in the Obama administration than any other North Dakotan.” Now these ties are the subject of a Freedom of Information Act request seeking to see if she used her ties to the administration to influence decisions about the Dakota Access Pipeline.

On Tuesday, the Center for Individual Freedom filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking “ all records since February 1, 2016, related in any way to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and Jodi Gillette,” including emails, visitor logs, and meeting minutes.

“There have been a lot of rumors about the backroom dealings that led to the Administration’s decision to not issue the final easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline,” said Timothy Lee, CFIF’s Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs, who filed the FOIA request.

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