North Dakota Taxpayers Footing The Bill For DAPL Protesters’ Bus Tickets, Hotel Rooms

Chris White | Energy Reporter

North Dakota officials plan on using taxpayer dollars to house and feed Dakota Access Pipeline opponents while their makeshift campsites are cleaned to avoid an ecological disaster.

State agencies in charge of cleaning up anti-DAPL campsites are offering transportation services, food vouchers, and paid hotel stays to the pipeline’s opponents while officials clean up the makeshift sites.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, a Republican, issued an emergency evacuation last week to give the state room to clean up the massive amount of trash that has accumulated at the site.

“The transportation assistance center will offer personal kits, water and snacks, health/wellness assessments, bus fare for a return trip home, a food voucher, hotel lodging for one night, and a taxi voucher to the bus terminal,” a press statement from the state Joint Information Center states.

The North Dakota Department of Human Services, North Dakota Department of Emergency Services and the North Dakota Department of Health are collaborating on the effort.

Rob Keller, the director of public affairs for the state of ND Unified Command, told The Daily Caller News Foundation that many of the people at the Cannonball and Oceti Sakowin campsites are homeless and require transportation to get back home.

“We are trying to take the high moral ground here,” Keller said. It’s better than jailing and escalating the violence between police and activists in the area, he added.

Standing Rock Sioux and environmental activists believe the multibillion-dollar pipeline will poison the tribe’s water supply and tread on its sacred land.

Opposition to the pipeline died down shortly after the Obama administration rejected the hotly contested pipeline route – but DAPL opponents were reenergized after President Donald Trump overturned his predecessor’s order.

Standing Rock activists say law enforcement officials should expect a fight from those remaining at the site.

“Everybody plans to be in camp tomorrow up until the 2 o’clock mark. Then people will make their individual decisions about what their level of commitment is,” Chase Iron Eyes, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, told reporters. “Some will get arrested.”

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