Building the Dakota Access Pipeline could endanger the health and safety of hundreds of people, and impact water sovereignty in the region.

The Dakota Access Pipeline is a dangerous violation of the sovereignty of the Oceti Sakowin and Standing Rock Sioux. Three years after a federal judge revoked the permit allowing for the pipeline to cross the Missouri River and ordered an environmental review, the oil still flows as it has since the pipeline began operating in 2017.

Now, with the release of the new — and deeply flawed — Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), which was written by a member of the American Petroleum Institute in a clear conflict of interest, the Army Corps of Engineers has finally opened a process for public comment.

They need to hear our demand to shut the Dakota Access Pipeline down now!

Every day the pipeline is in operation risks a disastrous toxic oil spill poisoning the Missouri River, the Standing Rock Sioux’s main water source. The impact is not limited to the Standing Rock Sioux, as the Missouri River provides water to millions more people downstream. Yet construction of the pipeline was exempted from the requirements of the Clean Water Act.

DAPL was already rerouted from its original course north of Bismarck, North Dakota, due to concerns that, in case of a leak, it would poison the city’s water supply. Yet the same risks that were deemed too great for the state capital — and its predominantly white population — were considered tolerable on sacred land guaranteed to the Oceti Sakowin (Sioux Nation) by the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie.

Ignoring pending legal actions, treaty law, and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, construction has already disrupted sacred burial sites as builders of the pipeline continue without regard.

A fully operational pipeline is projected to bring 570,000 more barrels of oil to market, resulting in the release of over 100 million metric tons of CO2 — a greenhouse gas responsible for accelerating climate change — each year. This is equal to the emissions of nearly 30 coal plants, or over 21 million cars, annually. Further, hydraulic fracking of the North Dakota oil fields has been responsible for a dangerous increase in atmospheric ethane, another greenhouse gas.

We must protect Mother Earth. We cannot choose to increase our dependence on extracted oil, rather than developing renewable resources.

But this isn’t just about health, safety, or protecting the crucial water supplies for millions of people from reckless corporate greed. It’s also about Tribal rights. The Standing Rock Sioux should have been consulted concerning this abrogation of unceded and sovereign territory rights. Sovereignty, honour and respect for the Sioux Nation is being recklessly denied each day that building of the pipeline continues.

Original source: https://actionnetwork.org

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