Energy Transfer Partners, the company who is responsible for the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, has stated that the construction will continue, regardless of the easement denial.
In a statement ETP stated:
“As stated all along, ETP and SXL are fully committed to ensuring that this vital project is brought to completion and fully expect to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around Lake Oahe. Nothing this Administration has done today changes that in any way.”
Basically, they are going to do what they have set out to do, even if it means that they must defy the federal government’s strict order.
When the news was announced on Sunday that the Army Corps’ had decided not to grant the easement for the DAPL to be placed beneath the Missouri River’s Lake Oahe, celebrations broke out throughout the nation.
Of course, there were some who doubted whether the oil company would actually abide by the rules that were set fourth. Many water protectors had a feeling that the ETP CEO would have a contingency plan to move forward with the construction regardless.
In another statement ETP said:
“In spite of consistently stating at every turn that the permit for the crossing of the Missouri River at Lake Oahe granted in July 2016, comported with all legal requirements, including the use of an environmental assessment, rather than an environmental impact statement, the Army Corps now seeks to engage in additional review and analysis of alternative locations for the pipeline.
“The White House’s directive today to the Corps for further delay is just the latest in a series of overt and transparent political actions by an administration which has abandoned the rule of law in favor of currying favor with a narrow and extreme political constituency.”
While the ETP may not have broken any laws, the fact still stands that a treaty was broken in order to provide land for the construction of the DAPL.
Various unconfirmed reports have stated that the ETP has decided to pay a heft $50,000 per day fine for violating the Army Corps easement denial.
And politicians jumped quickly on the bandwagon to go up against the decision to deny the easement. North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer announced,
“I hoped even a lawless president wouldn’t continue to ignore the rule of law. However, it was becoming increasingly clear he was punting this issue down the road. Today’s unfortunate decision sends a very chilling signal to others who want to build infrastructure in this country. Roads, bridges, transmission lines, pipelines, wind farms and water lines will be very difficult, if not impossible, to build when criminal behavior is rewarded this way. In my conversation with Assistant Secretary of the Army Jo-Ellen Darcy today, she was unable to give any legal reasons for the decision and could not answer any questions about rerouting the pipeline. I’m encouraged we will restore law and order next month when we get a President who will not thumb his nose at the rule of law. I feel badly for the Corps of Engineers because of the diligent work it did on this project, only to have their Commander-in-Chief throw them under the bus. But he’s been doing that to the military for eight years, so why not one more time on his way out the door.”
And it didn’t stop there. Other politicians, including Senator Heidi Heitkamp of ND made official statements damming the Army Corps for their decision.
With the water protectors still in awe, and excitement due to the decision to finally thwart the construction of the pipeline, the news of the continued advancement of the construction must come as horrible news. Many protesters have vowed to not leave the area, and to continue to protest and camp until the pipeline’s construction is indefinitely put to an end. While many have vacated the area, the majority are still standing, and have sworn to stay until their goal has been accomplished.