From [HERE] The Army said Sunday that it will not approve an easement necessary to permit the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota, marking a monumental victory for the Native American tribes and thousands of others who have flocked in recent months to protest the oil pipeline.
“I’m happy as heck,” said Everett Iron Eyes, a retired director of natural resources for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and one of the organizers of a camp protesters set up near the pipeline site. “All our prayers have been answered.”
Officials in November had delayed the key decision, saying more discussion was necessary about the proposed crossing, given that it would pass very near the reservation of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose leaders have repeatedly expressed fears that a spill could threaten the water supplies of its people.
“Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” Jo-Ellen Darcy, the Army’s assistant secretary for civil works, said in a statement Sunday. “The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”
The decision averts a possible showdown on Monday, the date the Army Corps, which owns land on either side of the lake, had set for cutting off access to the protesters’ camp. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, worried about violence, had sent mediators to the area over the weekend.
The victory for the Standing Rock Sioux and its allies could be short-lived, though. President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to support pipelines such as this one. And Kelcy Warren, the chief executive of the pipeline company Energy Transfer Partners, has been a major contributor to the Republican Party and Trump’s campaign. Warren donated $103,000 to (President-Elect) Donald Trump's 2016 campaign. [MORE]
Trump, who owned a $500,000 and $1 million stake in Energy Transfer Partners, has sold the shares, his spokeswoman Hope Hicks said. His most recent disclosure says he still owns a similar size stake in Phillips 66, which owns 25 percent of the Dakota Access line.