Despite the facts, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe continues to spread falsities

The statements of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (SRST) just don’t add up, and the facts are clear. Despite multiple statements to the contrary, the SRST and their allies have in fact been consulted multiple times by both Dakota Access and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers prior to construction of the pipeline.

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In a lawsuit filed by the radical environmental group EarthJustice on behalf of the SRST claims that, “Neither [Dakota Access] nor the Corps ever consulted with the Tribe…or had invited their participation as the Tribe had repeatedly requested.” The Chairman of SRST, David Archambault, wrote in the New York Times last week that, “permits for the project were approved and construction began without meaningful consultation.”

While this narrative might play well in the media, it could not be further from the truth.

A basic examination of documents provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and state utility boards, as well as filings by the Corps of Engineers and Dakota Access in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia shows the SRST and environmental allies met with regulators multiple times, and filed over a hundred comments throughout state and federal review periods. Filings also show that Dakota Access made seven attempts to meet with the tribe directly but were rejected every time.

Spreading misinformation and ignoring inconvenient facts is not the proper way to foster meaningful discussion. Based on these revelations, it’s hard not to wonder what other fictional tales the SRST and EarthJustice would like to have us believe.

North Dakota Media Calls for Construction to Continue

The Grand Forks Herald published an editorial which called for construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline to continue and for the ongoing protest in Morton County to cease:

“In the eyes of the public, protesters who take the law into their own hands have two strikes against them.

Violence results in the third strike. That means the protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline is ‘out,’ and the protesters should heed North Dakota Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley’s call to disperse.”

In the wake of nearly three dozen arrests, and ongoing reports of continued violence, trespassing, and threats to law enforcement and construction workers, not to mention a siphoning of state resources. It appears that these protesters have worn out their welcome in Morton County.

If there was a case to be made, it should have been made long ago at the three public hearings that were held by the Public Service Commission and not at the expense of public safety and North Dakota taxpayers. But since these groups did not bother to show up, it’s certainly not the time to make these points now, nor is it ever acceptable to commit the violent and illegal actions committed to date by these protesters.

South Dakota Political Blog Highlights Chaos in Morton County, North Dakota

The Dakota War College, a South Dakota political news site, published a piece that highlighted the disintegration of law and order in Morton County, North Dakota during the ongoing protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The “Spirit Camp” at the confluence of the Missouri and Cannon Ball Rivers has become a site of lawlessness and opposition to all forms of authority as protestors continue to engage police, shut down highways, threaten aircraft, vandalize public services, and illegally occupy private land.

The posts also highlights the influence of environmental groups who have allied themselves with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as part of a broader campaign to stop the development of important energy infrastructure. According to the post, one of those groups, EarthJustice, who is now suing the United States Army Corps of Engineers for their approval of the construction permit at the Lake Oahe crossing, also made no attempt to participate in the public process including three public hearings held by the North Dakota Public Service Commission.

Construction Unions Call On the Governor of North Dakota to Secure Work Sites, Promote the Rule of Law

In an announcement today, the General Presidents of four unions: Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA), the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), and the United Association (UA) announced that they have sent a letter to North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple. The letter requests that the governor use all the resources at his disposal to protect the hard-earned jobs of thousands of American men and women.

The release highlights the opportunity both supporters and opponents of the pipeline had to voice their opinions before the North Dakota Public Service Commission three times last year and calls attention to the actions of protestors that have endangered the safety of both construction workers and law enforcement.

According to the release, “Our men and women who earn a living on important and vital construction infrastructure projects such as Dakota Access have been asked to leave the job site while the local law enforcement contains the illegal protesters… While they may have a right to protest, we also have a right to do our jobs in a safe environment.”

Dakota Access Isn’t The First Pipeline To Cross A River

Based on the actions of the protesters in North Dakota, you would think that the Dakota Access Pipeline is a groundbreaking engineering achievement and will be the first time a pipeline has ever crossed a body of water, ever.

But as the popular North Dakota SayAnythingBlog pointed out earlier today, this is hardly the case.

Here is a map that shows all of the liquid and gas pipelines criss-crossing the country today. As it shows, quite a few of them cross bodies of water including rivers, lakes, and even the ocean.




As Chairwoman Fedorchak said, nobody wants to contaminate the water supply. It isn’t the goal of a pipeline company to build a bad piece of infrastructure that will have problems. In fact, safety is the utmost priority when it comes to building pipeline infrastructure, which is why Dakota Access is such a thoroughly engineered project that used state-of-the-art technology to construct and maintain the pipeline. But this pipeline is not groundbreaking when it comes to engineering a water crossing. Many have come before it, and undoubtedly many will come after it.

This is about a bigger issue, these groups advocate a radical “keep it in the ground” approach to American energy production which is not a feasible strategy when it comes to our energy independence. Our economy requires the resources of the Bakken and the Midwest will be served well by lower costs of energy, valuable manufacturing inputs, and thousands of jobs that this pipeline will provide.

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Didn’t Show Up At Regulatory Hearings

For over a week the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has protested the Dakota Access Pipeline by attempting to physically block access to the construction site. But when it came to the state review of the project which began almost two years ago, the tribe was nowhere to be found.

The tribe has argued that the project would threaten their water, land, and heritage, but as the SayAnything Blog notes, none of these concerns were ever raised before the North Dakota Public Services Commission. There were three public sessions including one in Mandan, less than 30 miles from the protest site. Neither Chairman Dave Archambault nor any official representative of his tribe bothered to attend any of the regulatory hearings reviewing the Dakota Access Pipeline project before approval deliberations began.

Even North Dakota Public Services Commissioner Brian Kalk highlighted their absence in a comment to the Bismarck Tribune, “These groups didn’t come to our hearings,’ said Kalk, expressing disappointment that tribal leaders didn’t appear at that time to voice their concerns.”

It doesn’t add up. There was ample opportunity to protest the pipeline through civil discussion, and yet there was no participation by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Now when the project is well on its way through construction do they resort to occupying private property, interfering with lawful construction, or riding horses within feet of the faces of the many state troopers who are trying to keep them safe.

Dakota Access Opponents’ Extrajudicial Actions Have Real Safety Implications

Some of the key points throughout the entire review process for the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline were “is this pipeline safe,” “will the job site be safe,” and “will those job sites protect the environment?”

These are questions we all had, after all, this is our land, these are our communities. If this work is going to take place, safety is of the utmost concern both during construction and operation. That’s why we had a review process that considered all these questions, and more.

Throughout the review we learned about the intricacies of soil restoration, X-Ray weld scanning technology, remote actuated shutoff valves, 24/7 monitoring, and horizontal directional drilling. These were matters that were carefully explained by the company throughout each of the lengthy review processes both in open testimony and public documents so that each state, through their utility regulatory bodies, and the federal government, through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, could make an informed decision. Only after all had been satisfied was the pipeline deemed safe and approved for construction.

But now that construction has begun, opponents of the project have taken matters into their own hands by committing acts of destruction, trespassing, and refusing compliance with lawful authorities’ orders meant to keep our communities safe.

Rather than pursue lawful action, or accept the fact that this pipeline was indeed thoroughly reviewed and that informed decision makers did their due diligence. These fringe groups have taken to physical action to stop the pipeline on the lawful easements where construction is taking place.

This type of activity endangers local workers, communities, and possibly even the opponents themselves, who do not have the proper training or safety understanding to move on or around the active job sites.

We’ve talked in the past about our disagreements, but the simple fact remains this pipeline was approved many times over.

We urge the opponents of this project to not put themselves in harm’s way and to denounce those who do. It does all of us no good to endanger their own safety and the safety of those working on the pipeline.

Dakota Access Review Exemplifies Thorough Energy Permitting Process

It’s safe to say the Dakota Access Pipeline has received one of the most thorough reviews of a domestic infrastructure project in recent memory. For many of us this project has been a long time coming, but even just this weekend, despite all permitting decisions completed, opponents of the project are still attempting to halt its progress because according to their message, nobody was listening.

But the facts show this just isn’t true. Everyone had a fair opportunity to present their interests and multiple jurisdictions approved this project independently of one another.

Don’t believe us? Let’s take a look at the numbers:

  • 3 North Dakota Public Services Commission Hearings
  • 4 South Dakota Public Utility Board Meetings
  • 18 Iowa IUB Meetings in each county along the pipeline route
  • Nearly a month of official testimony in front of the Iowa Utilities Board
  • Nearly a year and a half of review by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

And that doesn’t even take into account the thousands of comments and letters sent in to each jurisdiction throughout a nearly two year process. So if two years of time in front of public servants from four states and the federal government isn’t enough time to make a case then it’s hard to imagine any scenario where opponents of Dakota Access would be satisfied.

Local Economies Boosted By Dakota Access Construction

Communities along the Dakota Access Pipeline route are experiencing a flurry of economic activity as construction of the multibillion dollar project kicks into full gear. Local businesses across the region are benefiting from a surge in new customers that have come to work on the pipeline. In total, the project is expected to create upwards of 12,000 new jobs and inject more than $156 million in additional sales and income taxes.

In Emmons County, North Dakota, Grocer Todd Mulske is feeling the full effect off the additional customers as he struggles to keep food on the shelves. “Right now, we’re just trying to keep up,” said Mulske who owns the Linton Food Center. “The store has been crazy.” Mulske’s story was just part of the uplifting story published in the Bismarck Tribune this past weekend.

Across town, local campground owner Tiffany Heer says she’s working 18-hour days just to keep up. “I like the energy that’s coming with the pipeline. It’s such a nice thing to see happen to our local community,” she said.

The story much the same in Illinois where the State Journal-Register reported fully booked RV and lodging and a noticeable uptick in local commerce in the Jacksonville area. Local businesses, including hotels and restaurants have posted signs welcoming the workers and assembled information highlighting their offerings. “There’s signs around town welcoming them to come in,” said Jacksonville Mayor Andy Ezard. “There’s definitely going to be an economic impact on the city and the county, at least for awhile.”

While construction activities have only just begun, it’s already clear that the Dakota Access project is delivering on its promise to simulate local economies.