Former White House Energy Advisor Speaks Out on Dakota Access Protests

In a blog published in The Hill, Jack Rafuse, a former energy advisor to the Nixon administration weighed in on the ongoing protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline:

“In a recent opinion piece, Standing Rock Sioux tribe chairman David Archambault II writes eloquently, but ultimately without precision and factual context as he opines against the ongoing Dakota Access pipeline. He said that, when it comes to opposing Dakota Access, “we all have a responsibility to speak for a vision of the future that is safe and productive for our grandchildren.”

 To be sure, it is fully within the opposition’s right to disagree with aspects of the Dakota Access pipeline. However, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe did not participate in any public comment meetings in North Dakota, did not submit written testimony in opposition to the project, and refused to meet with officials from the Dakota Access project on 7 different invitations.  This was a process that included nearly 400 meetings on cultural surveying and 11 meetings between the Army Corps of Engineers and the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. As American citizens, we have the right to civic participation but also the obligation to abide by its outcomes.”

 Mr. Rafuse is correct. After nearly two years of review, it is time to accept the decisions made by the proper regulatory authorities that have already approved the construction of this project. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe had multiple opportunities to participate in the review process for the project and chose to not engage with the state. The Corps of Engineers held multiple consultations with the tribe as a part of their legal obligation.

The decisions have been made, it’s time to move forward with the lawful construction of Dakota Access.