In advanced of a planned day of protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline throughout the world, MAIN Coalition spokesman Craig Stevens issued the following statement:
“We understand that there are the strong emotions on both sides of the DAPL issue and certainly respect the rights of all citizens to be heard in this important policy discussion. However, while we support and defend the tenets of the Constitution’s First Amendment, we also respect the tenets of the rest of the Constitution and our nation’s laws. The Dakota Access Pipeline was fully vetted and and approved under the laws and regulations of four states and the federal government. Even the 1,000 feet of the project that is under review has already been approved by the Army Corps of Engineers. In order to live in an orderly society, one that promotes peace along with economic development, the rule of law must be respected.
If individuals believe that laws and regulations need to be changed, there is a rightful process for that – for example the ongoing discussions between the Department of Interior and Native American tribes on prospective infrastructure projects. But we must not and cannot retroactively impact ongoing or already approved projects because of a vocal protest; not only is that un-American, but it would also send the wrong message to institutions – companies, lenders, and others – seeking to invest in private infrastructure development.
It’s past time for the President to lift the hold on the Dakota Access Pipeline and issue the final, already approved easement.”