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Show your support for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

Delivery to U.S. Congress

What’s At Stake

In an unprecedented victory for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe after four-year legal battle, a federal judge has ordered the owners of the Dakota Access Pipeline to halt operations while the government conducts a full-fledged analysis examining the risk DAPL poses to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The pipeline shutdown will remain in place pending completion of a full environmental review, which normally takes several years, and the issuance of new permits. It may be up to a new administration to make final permitting decisions. Write to your members of Congress in support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and its fight for justice and sovereignty.

The news follows a court victory in March that struck down federal permits for the pipeline and ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to prepare a full environmental impact statement, something the Tribe has sought since the beginning of the controversy. Earthjustice has been representing the Tribe in its fight against the pipeline.

Since June 2017, 600,000 barrels of crude oil a day have flowed through this unlawfully approved pipeline. An oil spill into the nearby Missouri River would destroy the Tribe’s way of life. When Energy Transfer Partners proposed a new 1,200-mile oil pipeline from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota to the Midwest, it chose a route crossing the Missouri River just yards upstream from the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. For the Tribe, there has never been any question of backing down from the fight to protect their homeland from the Dakota Access pipeline – and we need your help as that fight continues.

This case has forced a reckoning with the historical and present-day disenfranchisement and disrespect of Native peoples from the government wielding its power. We are called to renounce 200 years of the status quo and exercise our political power to shut down this pipeline for good.

Tribes and allies gathered to defend Standing Rock Sioux territory from the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2016. A federal judge struck down the pipeline's permits on March 25, 2020, after years of litigation.Tribes and allies gathered to defend Standing Rock
Scott Olson / Getty Images

Tribes and allies gathered to defend Standing Rock Sioux territory from the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2016. After years of litigation, a court struck down the pipeline's water permits on March 25, 2020.

Your Actions Matter

Your messages make a difference, even if we have leaders who don't want to listen. Here's why.

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You level the playing field.

Elected officials pay attention when they see that we are paying attention.

They may be hearing from industry lobbyists left and right, but hearing the stories of their constituents — that’s your power.

Our legislators serve at the pleasure of the people who gave them their job — you. When you contact your elected official, you’re putting a face and a name on an issue. Whether or not you voted for them, they work for you, for the duration of their term.

Make sure your elected officials know whose community and whose values they represent. (Find your local, state, and federal elected officials.)

Your action is with us in court.

If a federal agency finalizes a harmful action, the record of public comments provides a basis for bringing them into court.

Throughout each of the public comment periods we alert you to, Earthjustice’s attorneys are researching and writing in-depth, technical comments to submit — detailing how the regulation could and should be stronger to protect the environment, our communities, and our planet.

We need you to join us — your specific experiences, knowledge, and voice are crucial to add to the Administrative Record through the comment periods.

Lawsuits we file that challenge weak or harmful federal regulations rely on what was submitted during the comment period. The court can only look at documents that are in the Administrative Record — including the public comments — to decide if the agency did something improper.

Your actions aid our litigation. Taking action and submitting comments during a comment period is substantively important.

It’s the law.

Federal agencies must pause what they’re doing and ask for — and consider — your comment.

Many of us may have never heard of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), but laws like these require our government to ask the public to weigh in before agencies adopt or change regulations.

Regulations essentially describe how federal agencies will carry out laws — including decisions that could undermine science, or weaken safeguards on public health.

Public comments are collected at various points throughout the federal government’s rulemaking process, including when a regulation is proposed and finalized. (Learn more about the rulemaking process.) These comments become part of the official, legal public record — the “Administrative Record.”

When the public responds with a huge outpouring of support for environmental protections, these individual messages collectively undercut politicians' attempts to claim otherwise.

What this means is each of us can take a role in shaping the rules our government creates — and ensuring those rules are fair and effective.

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