Victory at Standing Rock? | The World Weekly
Protesters at Standing Rock celebrated this weekend after the US Army Engineering Corps denied a key permit to the company planning to build a massive oil pipeline through Native American land. They have also ruled that an environmental impact assessment will have to be carried out.
This will put a stop to all drilling for the time being, and marks a massive win for the protesters, who were concerned about water source pollution and violations of Native American land rights. Dave Archambault II, tribal chairman of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, released a statement saying “the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and all of Indian country will be forever grateful to the Obama administration for this historic decision”.
However, many protesters are ignoring calls from the likes of Mr. Archambault to treat this as a victory and go home. Some have become so disillusioned with the authorities over this whole affair that they fear this may be a ruse to get them to move, whilst others point simply to the noises coming out of the oil companies involved to argue that the story is still not over.
Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, called the decision by the Obama administration “shameful”, and has said that there will be an appeal. The main company involved, Energy Transfer Partners, has been clear that it does not intend to plan a new route, and is keen to put a brave face on things. If a new route did need to be planned, the company would have to renegotiate many of the deals it struck to get this plan off the ground, which could prove very costly to them due to oil prices being much lower now than when they signed the deals.
Fears also exist over what the incoming Trump administration might do to change things in the future. For now, however, there are fireworks over Lake Oahe, as people celebrate a victory for public protest over the seemingly all-powerful oil industry.