Local tribes have turned into useful idiots for the global warming activists.
With the help of celebrities and professional activists, protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota attracted international attention. The shouting and violence have drawn sympathy from people who are hearing only one side of the story — the one told by activists.
Were the full story to be heard, much, if not all, of that sympathy would vanish.
The activists tell an emotionally charged tale of greed, racism and misbehavior by corporate and government officials. But the real story of the Dakota Access Pipeline was revealed in court documents in September, and it is nothing like the activists’ tale. In fact, it is the complete opposite.
The record shows that Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the pipeline, spent years working diligently with federal, state and local officials to route the pipeline safely and with the fewest possible disruptions. The contrast between the protesters’ claims and the facts on record is stunning.
Protesters claim that the pipeline was “fast-tracked,” denying tribal leaders the opportunity to participate in the process. In fact, project leaders participated in 559 meetings with community leaders, local officials and organizations to listen to concerns and fine-tune the route. The company asked for, and received, a tougher federal permitting process at sites along the Missouri River.
This more difficult procedure included a mandated review of each water crossing’s potential effect on historical artifacts and locations.
Protesters claim that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to consult tribal leaders as required by federal law. The record shows that the corps held 389 meetings with 55 tribes. Corps officials met many times with leaders of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, which initiated the lawsuit and the protests.
Protesters claim that the Standing Rock Sioux pursued meetings with an unresponsive Army Corps of Engineers. Court records show that the roles in that story were in fact reversed. The corps alerted the tribe to the pipeline permit application in the fall of 2014 and repeatedly requested comments from and meetings with tribal leaders, only to be rebuffed over and over. Tribal leaders ignored requests for comment and canceled meetings multiple times.
In September 2014 alone, the Corps made five unsuccessful attempts to meet with Standing Rock Sioux leaders. The next month, a meeting was arranged, but “when the Corps timely arrived for the meeting, Tribal Chairman David Archambault told them that the conclave had started earlier than planned and had already ended,” according to a federal judge.
At a planned meeting the next month, the tribe took the pipeline off the agenda and refused to discuss it. This stonewalling by tribal leaders continued for a year and a half.
Typical of the misinformation spread during the protests is a comment made by Jesse Jackson, who recently joined the activists in North Dakota. He said the decision to reroute the pipeline so that it crossed close to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s water intake was “racism.”
He did not mention, possibly because he did not know, that the company is paying to relocate the tribe’s water intake to a new spot 70 miles from the location of the contested pipeline crossing.