By Herald Staff, Boston Herald, Sunday 20, 2016
With hundreds of demonstrators on site and more around the country having produced three months of rallies in opposition, the Army Corps of Engineers reversed itself and decided not to approve the crossing of the Missouri River by a crude oil pipeline in North Dakota. Someday we may get to the bottom of this puzzling decision as the Obama administration prepares to depart the White House.
The corps said it will try to find a better route, which means one that will convince the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe that it doesn’t threaten their drinking water or cultural sites. That could take many months.
According to U.S. Rep. Kevin Kramer (R-N.D.) writing in The Wall Street Journal, the original 1,142-mile route (from North Dakota oil fields to Illinois refineries) was modified 140 times in response to comments from other tribes and commenters in a process the tribe said was not “real” consultation. The tribe’s participation consisted mostly of statements that it didn’t want the pipeline around.
Various other Missouri crossings are nearby, Kramer wrote. The oil pipeline was to have been placed beside an existing natural gas pipeline 100 feet below the riverbed. None of the affected land is owned by the tribe.