Editor’s note written by GJWHG.com’s Rachel Wingenbach who lives in the Bismarck-Mandan area.
As someone who lives in the area of the pipeline, I’ve seen all the protests, all the news stories, everything. I’ve read up on both sides and I can tell you right now there is money behind that protest. People are paid to quit their jobs, they are paid on the spot for protesting each day. They are paid even more when they are arrested on top of being bailed out. They are shown how to be arrested. There are so many other stories that we in North Dakota know that the country isn’t hearing about. If Obama had been any sort of smart and environmentally conscious, he would have allowed that 90% complete pipeline to be finished.
The top Republican in Congress criticized the Obama administration on Sunday for the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to deny access for the Dakota Access pipeline to be constructed near tribal land.
House Speaker Paul Ryan tweeted on Sunday that the decision was ‘big-government decision-making at its worst.’
The Wisconsin Republican tweeted Sunday night that he looks ‘forward to putting this anti-energy presidency behind us.’
Another Republican, House Rep. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, said that the move was a ‘chilling signal to others who want to build infrastructure in this country.’
‘I can’t wait for the adults to be in charge on Jan. 20,’ said Cramer, a supporter of President-elect Donald Trump, who will be inaugurated as president on that day.
The company building the $3.8 billion oil pipeline also slammed the Obama administration.
Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners released a statement Sunday night calling the decision ‘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.’
In a stunning victory to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its supporters, the Army announced that the pipeline will not cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota.
The tribe and its supporters have long argued the project would threaten the its water source and cultural sites.
The US Army Corps of Engineers will not grant an easement allowing the pipeline’s construction half a mile south of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.
Jo-Ellen Darcy, United States Assistant Secretary of the Army, said the federal agency will ‘explore alternate routes’ in an announcement that came just one day before the Corps was scheduled to cut off access to the protesters’ camp.
Thousands of demonstrators at the Oceti Sakowin campsite erupted into cheers and cries of Mni Wiconi – ‘Water is life’ – went up from the crowd as the news spread.
Moments after the decision was announced, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Council Chairman Harold Frazier told DailyMail.com that he was ‘shocked’ by the news.
The $3.8billion pipeline running through North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois, is mostly complete, except for a segment planned to run under Lake Oahe, which protesters resisted for several months.
Faith Spotted Eagle, an elder of the Ihanktonwan tribe, said: ‘The easement has been denied. We have all come to this gathering being hosted by Mother Earth. I love you all.’
Shailene Woodley, star of the ‘Divergent’ movies and ‘The Fault in Our Stars’, who had previously been arrested while protesting told a huge crowd: ‘We feel so honored to have been a small part of this movement.’
In a statement, Standing Rock tribal chairman Dave Archambault II said: ‘Today, the US Army Corps of engineers announced that it will not be granting the easement to cross Lake Oahe for the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline.