It’s time to shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline. DAPL is currently operating without a permit and in violation of key environmental laws, needlessly endangering the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe for the sake of oil industry profits. The Trump administration has refused to force the pipeline operators to follow the law — but President Biden can stop the lawlessness by shutting down DAPL on his first day in office.
In July, a federal judge ruled that that the Army Corps of Engineers violated key environmental laws in its permitting of the pipeline, and ordered the Corps to conduct a full environmental review that considers the danger to the Tribe and the risk of an oil spill. The Court threw out the key permit for the pipeline – but the Trump administration is allowing it to keep operating anyway. It is impossible to justify the pipeline’s continued operation while we do not know the full extent of the potential damage the pipeline might cause.
It shouldn’t be controversial to follow the law. Vice President Harris has already voiced support for shutting down the pipeline while the environmental impact statement is conducted, by signing onto a court brief along with other members of Congress, states, and Tribes.
The struggle to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline is just the most recent example in a long and shameful history of government sponsored dispossession and disrespect of Tribal rights — which is why we must ask the Biden administration to chart a new course. The administration can send a strong signal to Indian Country today that it wants to start a new chapter — one prioritizing cooperation and respect between equal, sovereign nations.
This isn’t complicated — the pipeline is dangerous, doesn’t have the necessary permits, and is an affront to tribal sovereignty. President Biden has promised to restore respect and dignity to the White House, and shutting down DAPL is an excellent way to start down this path. Please join us in telling him that he must shut down DAPL while the dangers of the infrastructure are studied.