APTN National News
The $4.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is now in service with oil flowing according to its owner Energy Transfer Partners.
Last fall, the DAPL was the focus of intense and often violent protests and actions by law enforcement.
The fight against the pipeline was led by thousands of grassroots Indigenous and non-Indigenous people from around the world and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault, who was recently acquitted of charges of disorderly conduct in relation to the protests, said the system isn’t working for Indigenous peoples.
“It goes to show that this administration and court system failed us again,” said Archambault.
The Tribal Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe called the announcement “disappointing” and said the Tribe is still continuing with its efforts to have the permit revoked.
“Now more than ever poses a risk to the drinking water of millions of people.”
The Tribe is asking the courts to call for a full Environmental Assessment Impact Study (EAIS) on the project.
The previous Obama Administration halted the project before leaving office and called for an EAIS. That decision was reversed in the early days of the new Trump Administration.
A decision Archambault said was done for political reasons.
The Tribe is awaiting a court decision.
Archambault was found innocent on Wednesday of disorderly conduct charges that were laid in August of 2016. The case was delayed numerous times and it only took a jury a matter of minutes to find him not guilty.
The Tribal Chairman is thankful the matter was finally settled and said it had been hanging over his head for months.
The Tribal Chairman said he is not surprised by the revelations this week that a private security firm was hired by the oil company.
Documents obtained by an online magazine indicate, TigerSwan which was founded by retired military special forces members conducted an aggressive, multifaceted operation against protesters that included a close working relationship with public law enforcement.
“There was always the assumption that there were infiltrators,” said Archambault.
However, he is surprised by how much influence they may have had over law enforcement and over political officials.
“It’s a lesson for us as we move forward” and “an eye opener” said Archambault who predicts there will be many more battles going forward citing the KXL pipeline.