The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave the developer behind the highly-contentious Dakota Access Pipeline the green light to complete the project, according to a North Dakota senator.
Acting Secretary of the Army Robert Speer directed the Army Corps “to proceed with the easement needed to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline,” Republican Sen. John Hoeven said Tuesday after meeting with Speer and Vice President Mike Pence.
“This will enable the company to complete the project, which can and will be built with the necessary safety features to protect the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and others downstream,” Hoeven said in his statement, adding that the last few months have been rough for everybody involved and it’s time to “bring it to a peaceful resolution.”
Standing Rock Sioux, one of the tribes opposing the so-called DAPL, believe the line’s construction would trample on tribal lands and potentially poison waterways, including rivers such as the Missouri River and Lake Oahe. The tribe is now asking protesters to vacate the area after the Army Corps rejected an easement for the $3.8 billion project.
The tribe has vowed to continue its fight through the court system.
“We are not surprised to see North Dakota’s U.S. Sen. John Hoeven issued a statement prematurely championing Trump directives to grant an easement for illegal construction,” the Standing Rock Sioux said in a statement following the news.
An Obama-appointed official in the Army Corps rejected the previously approved project route in December.
Trump signed a pair of executive orders on Jan. 24 essentially approving the building of the DAPL, as well as the Keystone XL pipeline, both of which were rejected by former President Barack Obama.
Obama declined in 2015 to give Keystone XL the necessary cross-border permits. The project would have brought oil sands from Alberta to Gulf Coast refineries.
Obama argued Keystone would harm the U.S.’s image as a leader in the fight to curtail climate change.
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