Victory for climate, drinking water and Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

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Rachel Richardson

Environment America

Washington, D.C. – The Obama Administration stepped in today and halted construction of a key portion of the Dakota Access Pipeline near Sacred Stone Camp citing tribal and environmental concerns as well as ongoing activism in its decision. This action came after the D.C. district court ruled against the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe earlier this afternoon.

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 following the rejection of the Keystone XL, a moratorium on new coal leasing, cancellation of Arctic drilling leases through 2017 and the removal of the Atlantic 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 announcement today is a huge victory for our climate, drinking water and members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other activists who have been protesting this reckless project for months.

If built, the 1,000 mile Dakota Access pipeline would transport 450,000 barrels of fracked oil per day. Not only would burning this dirty oil fuel global warming and other air pollution causing catastrophic damage to our environment and health, the pipeline would pass directly under the Missouri River and put at risk sensitive natural areas and the drinking water for 18 million people. All this on top of endangering countless communities, sacred tribal lands and disturbing the way of life for Native Americans in the area.

The administration’s decision, although temporary, is a positive sign for the movement to keep fossil fuels in the ground and helps burnish the President’s record on fighting climate change. Today’s decision is a testament to the power of communities standing together against polluting industries and against our reliance on dirty fossil fuels and destructive infrastructure.”