A few months ago we celebrated a small victory for Standing Rock. The Army denied the Energy Transfer partners access to build the Dakota Access Pipeline near Lake Oahe or the primary water source for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.
However, last Tuesday President Trump signed an executive order approving the production of Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines. Despite months of protests and a seven-year campaign due to the fear that the pipeline would threaten the local water supplies and Sioux tribe's cultural sites. Approval of the 1,172-mile pipeline follows Trump's promise to spur the countries economic growth by eliminating certain regulations, which include environmental restrictions.
However, environmentalists are criticizing his actions, because green energy has actually been more profitable and provides more jobs in recent years than crude oil. Pipelines, on the other hand, have been known to corrupt the land and resources of those who inhabit it. The executive order also ignores the civil rights of Standing Rock residents, by neglecting their legal claim to water rights on their land according to Jamil Dukar the local Human Rights Program.
Despite this decision, criticism, and comments about environmental ideas during his campaign, President Trump told reporters he was an environmentalist, claiming he was a "very big person" and "received awards" in regards to the environment.
Thankfully, this executive order is not the only thing the DAPL needs to complete construction. The DAPL still needs to receive an easement from the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Keystone needs to resubmit their proposal in order to cross the Canadian border.
We are once again faced with waiting while attempting to keep pushing for the pipeline's halt to ensure the preservation of the Sioux land. Should the pipeline burst it would not only affect the tribe but also neighboring communities and wildlife; travelling along the Missouri River. If the prospect of hundreds of people's way of life being compromised is not enough of a reason to look at alternatives or improve your product, I do not know what is.