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The UN Backs Tribal Opposition To Dakota Access Pipeline


The UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues has backed a claim by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe that it should have a say in the construction of the US$3.7-billion Dakota Access pipeline, which the Native American tribe fears will pollute its drinking water and affect sacred sites in their territory.

The AP quotes a member of the forum, Dalee Dorough, as saying that the Standing Rock tribe has not been consulted on the project, which represents a violation of the UN’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The Dakota Access pipeline, slated to transport between 470,000 and 570,000 barrels of crude daily from North Dakota’s Bakken shale play to Illinois, has attracted a lot of protests. It will pass the Missouri River in the lands of the Standing Rock tribe, which is their main source of drinking water.

Earlier this month the tribe filed a complaint in court against the project, saying it will harm the environment, threaten the tribe’s well-being, and damage sites of historical and cultural significance. The tribe also said in its complaint that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did not conduct a proper review of the pipeline project’s impact on the environment and the above mentioned sites. The case is being reviewed by a federal judge in Washington, and a ruling is expected by next Thursday.

The issue has received attention by Amnesty International, and some 30 environmental groups are backing the protests and have urged President Obama to stop the project, as he did with Keystone XL, where pressure from environmentalists tipped the scales against the pipeline.

On Tuesday, media reported that another eight Native American tribes have joined the Sioux’s fight against the pipeline. The eight tribes are all from the state of Washington, and one of them earlier this year scored a victory against a potentially harmful project: the Cherry point bulk-shipping terminal, which would have been the largest coal port in the U.S.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • randy verret on September 19 2016 said:
    What is next? The UN want to weigh-in on local police procedures? How about organic farming? Pick a topic. The UN has no jurisdiction (here) and mostly likely does not even have a CLUE about the 404B permitting process under the Clean Water Act that the U.S Army Corps of Engineers lawfully issued a pipeline construction permit. A federal judge (apparently) agrees as he DENIED the Standing Rock Sioux injunction, only to be further convoluted by the joint agency response for Energy Transfer Partners (ETF) to put the project on "hold" until the Tribal concerns could be addressed. I've seen NO evidence that ETF overlooked anything on the archeological or environmental due diligence, a requirement under the PUBLIC process needed for an approved permit. ALL interested parties would have had an opportunity to comment. Water contamination in the Missouri? Go out to Penn Wells and pull down an interstate pipeline map. There are tens of thousands of miles of interstate pipelines and hundreds & HUNDREDS of stream crossings. There is nothing unusual or inherently unsafe about crossing the Missouri River. Looks like a bunch of "grand standing" in the media based on the THEATER exhibited rather than presentation of facts...
  • Bill Simpson on September 09 2016 said:
    It doesn't matter. President Trump will send the UN packing off to Beijing, or Berlin.
  • Quazi Motto on September 01 2016 said:
    There is plenty of evidence to stop this pipeline and to prove it is bad for the environment. How about that oil spill in Yellowstone years ago. Released 47,000 gallons of oil into the river, anyone remember Flint? I'm glad the Native Americans are standing up for a moral and just cause, something a majority of America won't do. There is no reason to kill our only planet capable of sustaining life.
  • Large marge on September 01 2016 said:
    Well thank God for that. It isnt the first time they asked the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA to leave the Native Americans alone or give back what was taken or condemned THE U S. for allowing individual states to exploit tribal lands and or recources that have been promised through treaty (like a contract for you to understand) to be kept protected for ALL TRIBAL GENERATION FOREVER
  • Barack Obama on September 01 2016 said:
    What evidence does the UN have that this oil pipeline will leak oil? If oil leaks, sue the living day light out of the Dakota Access pipeline, but until then there is no evidence this would harm the environment. Also, doesn't the UN have anything better to do with their time, like expose its internal corruption, or confront some of the countless rape charges against its "peacekeeping force"?

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