When It Comes to DAPL, Stick to the Facts

Today, The Hill, published a piece by MAIN Coalition spokesman Craig Stevens where articulated the facts behind the Dakota Access Pipeline project.

Stevens wrote, “During the ongoing protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the public has had a harder time getting to the facts about this important project. Untrue claims are circulating again, and the record needs to be set straight.”

Some of the important facts raised include:

  • The pipeline does not cross reservation land, and runs almost entirely on private property. In fact the pipeline parallels an energy corridor of electrical transmission lines and the Northern Border Pipeline across Lake Oahe.
  • The entire route through North Dakota was approved by the North Dakota Historic Preservation Office.
  • Native American tribes had multiple opportunities for input with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers throughout the permitting process.
  • Multiple meetings were held with community leaders and the public throughout the review phase of the project.
  • The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s request to halt construction of the pipeline near its reservation. Judge Boasberg concluded after an extensive review that “the Tribe has not shown it will suffer injury” if construction proceeds as planned.

Through all of the noise of this very public protests, these facts remain the same and should guide any future intellectual discussion on the pipeline. Inciting violence, trespassing, or damaging property is

Hypocrisy at Standing Rock

It seems that hypocrisy and untruths know no bounds these days.

Peaceful protests? Hardly. What happened over the weekend shows the brutal actions by the opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline are becoming more commonplace. More than 250 protesters charged 14 Dakota Access security personnel Saturday with rocks, pipe, and other weapons, sending workers to the hospital. Is this the “peaceful protest” that Chairman Archambault is condoning?  We want to know.

But what about the resources needed to protest the pipeline? As we’ve seen, you need a lot of oil to protest oil pipelines.

In fact, we learned today that many of the protesters may have been purchasing gasoline and diesel fuel from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s very own chairman, David Archambault II.

That’s right— Chairman Archambault is a proud owner of his very own gas station —the Cannon Ball Pit Stop. He’s managed to assemble thousands of protesters at a “spirit camp” conveniently located just a few miles away from his small business, which is likely turning a nice profit these days.



Chairman Archambault’s personal website and resume prominently note that he’s been the “Owner/Manager” of the gas station from 2011 to present.  He touted this fact when he ran for Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

David Archambault


Is it not rather ironic that a man opposed to a crude oil pipeline due to its potential impact on the environment has no issue profiting from one of the most important by-products of American-produced crude oil?  We think so.  “Do as I say not as I do” would be a good new mantra for the small but vocal group at Standing Rock opposed to Dakota Access.

Standing Rock Won’t Draw Water from North Dakota by End of Year

This map shows approximately where the Dakota Access Pipeline will cross the Missouri River, in red, along with the locations of Fort Yates, North Dakota, and Mobridge, South Dakota, marked in green. (Courtesy of the SayAnythingBlog)

Despite numerous allegations from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe about the threat to water for the reservation from the Dakota Access Pipeline, what has gone unreported is the slated closure of a water intake from Lake Oahe at Fort Yates, ND.

In a conversation reported on SayAnythingBlog Dave Rosencranz, the Dakotas Area manager for the Federal Bureau of Reclamation, pointed out that the Standing Rock community is served by water intakes on Lake Oahe but the Fort Yates intake, which is nearest the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing, is slated for closure. “There’s been a lot of issues with that intake,” referring to the Fort Yates facility. “It’s just time to replace it. It’s basically at the end of its life.”

Once again we see that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their allies are willing to talk out of both sides of their mouth to get their way. First they claimed this protest was regarding the safety of their water resources, and now the facts show that they won’t even be pulling water from North Dakota by the end of the year. At first they claimed they would hold a peaceful protest to protect their water, and now violence has broken out as the Standing Rock Sioux attacked members of the labor community.

How much longer can we listen to people who will clearly say whatever it takes to keep the spotlight on them and their agenda? The reality is clearly much different, lies are becoming exposed, and the fabric of the protest is beginning to unravel. Violent acts are now guiding these protesters and it’s time to put a stop to it.

The Myths and Facts Behind the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Claims

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has made many accusations toward Dakota Access and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that just aren’t true. We’ve debunked many other claims as false, and discovered that hundreds of consultations were held on the pipeline project with Native American tribes and nations. Here are a few more of the myths being spread, and the real facts behind them. 


The more you look, the more you realize that the claims of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their radical environmental allies at EarthJustice don’t add up.

Everyone is entitled to their opinions, and public discourse is important on a project of this scale. But after nearly two years of thorough review and final approval by multiple state and federal regulatory agencies, the time has come to construct the pipeline.

Native American Tribes Were Consulted Throughout Pipeline Review Process

It’s a popular claim of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe that there was “no meaningful consultation” with Native American Tribes and Nations regarding the placement of the Dakota Access Pipeline. But like many other claims, this just simply isn’t true. 


In fact, the United States Government, through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had 389 meetings and contacts with Native American tribes according to an exhibit filed as a part of the USACE Opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

So which Native American tribes and nations were included in these contacts? Take a look at the long list of those consulted. Notice a familiar name? That’s right, The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is listed and was contacted as part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers comprehensive review. Despite their claims to the contrary tribes were contacted and consulted multiple times throughout the review process.

“Our tribe has opposed the Dakota Access pipeline since we first learned about it in 2014… permits for the project were approved and construction began without meaningful consultation.” (Dave Archamabult, “Taking a Stand at Standing Rock” New York Times Op-Ed, 8/24/16)

The more you look, the more it seems the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is just looking for the best narrative to state their case, rather than presenting the real facts behind their case.

This is the reality: the Dakota Access Pipeline was approved by numerous state and federal organizations in consultation with Native American tribal officers and historic preservation experts.

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.

1024x512_ND_Dakota-Access-Pipeline-TW-Graphic_d1b (002)

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.

Media Questions Sincerity of Tribal Leader’s Call for Peace

In a new opinion piece, Rob Port, editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, argues that anti-Dakota Access Pipeline protesters have done little to change their tactics and that it still remains unclear if Archambault even stands behind what he said.

“Over the last days, I have spent a great deal of time, meeting and speaking with participants in the demonstration, tribal government and spiritual leaders, state and local law enforcement officials and others,” Standing Rock Chairman David Archambault said in a statement released to the media this last week. “In all of these meetings, my message has been consistent — we need to work together in peace.”

That stands at odds with the dozens of arrests made by law enforcement officers for infractions like trespassing and disorderly conduct. In fact, Archambault himself was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly shoving law enforcement officers on the protest line.

If Archambault’s goal is peace, can we say that he has pursued that goal through his own actions?

Port goes on to highlight recent comments by law enforcement officers that have been continuously intimidated, threatened, and even assaulted by protestors.

“Pipeline construction has been halted in the area of the protest as law enforcement officers have encountered weapons, threats of pipe bombs and assaults on private security,” Forum News Service reporter Amy Dalrymple wrote earlier this week.

Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier told the Bismarck Tribune that “his officers have been threatened.”

“This is really dangerous down here,” Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney, whose department has been assisting Kirchmeier’s during the protests, told Fargo Forum reporter Robin Huebner.

Archambault had ample opportunity to present his concerns last fall during the three North Dakota Public Service Commission hearings on the pipeline, but neglected to do so. “These groups didn’t come to our hearings,” said Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk in an interview with the Bismarck Tribune.

As a coalition we agree with Port that everyone has a right to be heard and all viewpoints deserve equal consideration. That said, the Standing Rock’s failure to participate in the formal regulatory review process does not grant them the right to trample the voices of others who chose to be involved in the project’s evaluation.