The attempts by Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) to construct its pipeline under the Missouri River, near the Standing Rock Sioux tribal lands in North Dakota, have led to powerful protests with many violent episodes. Among the main reasons for opposing the construction is that Native Americans consider this land sacred as it contains their burial grounds and also the fears that the pipeline might contaminate their drinking water.
President Obama instructed the federal officials Army Corps of Engineers to review the application to construct the pipeline near the tribal lands. On Sunday, after months of protests, the Army Corps of Engineers decided to deny the application, leading to celebrations of victory among the protesters. DAPL immediately criticized the decision.
In a press release teh oil company explains why the decision violates the well-known public custom of always mistreating Native Americans first:
This cowardly decision by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers clearly violates a long-standing public custom, widely embraced in our industry and generally by nearly all American businesses, of screwing Native Americans first.
It also sets a very dangerous public policy precedent that interests of big businesses can be sacrificed for such trivial reasons as protecting people’s sacred lands.
We are confident that the new administration will set things right, but in the meantime we will resort to legal action as this decision clearly violates a well-known legal principle which states that interests of Native Americans must be respected only if they don’t conflict with any industrial interests.
So if the executive branch cannot be trusted to do its job of always respecting the interests of big oil, we at least expect that the courts will do theirs.
(Image credit: Pax Ahimsa Gethen/Wikimedia Commons)