In a win for climate and tribal communities, Obama administration halts Dakota Access Pipeline project
Washington, D.C. - The Obama Administration's Army Corps of Engineers yesterday blocked a key portion of the Dakota Access Pipeline near Sacred Stone Camp, stating that the company building the pipeline, Transfer Energy partners needed to “explore alternate routes” for the pipeline’s crossing.
This is the latest in a series of moves by the Obama Administration to stave off the worst impacts of climate change by limiting new fossil fuel development. This announcement follows the rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline, a moratorium on new coal leasing, cancellation of Arctic drilling leases through 2017 and the removal of both the Arctic and the Atlantic Oceans from the 5-year offshore drilling plan.
Rachel Richardson, Director of Environment America's Stop Drilling Program issued the following statement in response:
"The Obama Administration’s decision is a win for our climate, our drinking water and members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other activists who have been protesting this reckless project for months.
The Army Corps has requested the pipeline company look for alternative routes. The best alternative is to stop building new fossil fuel pipelines and instead to dramatically increase automobile fuel economy and invest in public transit and alternatives to driving.
If built, the 1,000 mile Dakota Access pipeline would transport 450,000 barrels of fracked oil per day. Burning this dirty oil would fuel global warming and other air pollution causing catastrophic damage to our environment and health. If finished, the pipeline would pass directly under the Missouri River and put at risk sensitive natural areas and the drinking water for 18 million people. And this damage would be in addition to endangering countless communities, sacred tribal lands while disturbing the way of life for Native Americans in the area.
This decision is based on the science and is a testament to the power of communities standing together against polluting industries and against our reliance on dirty fossil fuels and destructive infrastructure."