Visionary Science, Ethics, Law and Action in the Public Interest

Dear President Obama: NoDAPL

November 1, 2016
Dear President Obama,
Your administration is in the midst of reviewing the permits for Dakota Access’ crude oil pipeline as described in a memo released Sept. 9th, 2016. We strongly urge you to expand the review to the entire pipeline route and not limit it to the Missouri River crossing at Lake Oahe north of Standing Rock North Dakota. This review must include a full Environmental Impact Statement and appropriate and sufficient consultation with the Tribes across the entire length of the pipeline.
It would be disingenuous to limit the Administration’s review solely to the Missouri River crossing since the permitting failures that led to both the Sioux lawsuits and your memo extend down the entire length of the pipeline. The permitting process failed to consider

  • that this pipeline covers wider traditional and treaty territories of the Sioux in South Dakota and Iowa. Sioux land is not limited to Standing Rock or even that tiny corner of North Dakota.
  • environmental injustices built into the crude oil siting process are suffered by Indigenous peoples as well as rural people;
  • the long-term and cumulative impacts of the pipeline on water and climate.

The Nationwide Permitting Process simply was not designed to manage a project as vast as Dakota Access.
Therefore we ask that your administration include in its permit review:
1) Tribal consultation across the entire pipeline route. Tribal consultation must not be limited to the single crossing at the Missouri River. In June a Sioux sacred site in an Iowa Wildlife Management Area was identified by Sioux Tribal Historic Preservation Officers.  Sioux land is not limited to Standing Rock and therefore the review and tribal consultation must extend to the entire Treaty lands that are crossed by Dakota Access.  This requires meaningful, Nation-to-Nation, tribal consultation over most of the length of the entire pipeline and tribal consent for those portions of the pipeline that cross lands of Native nations.
2) Use federal siting criteria that lead to equal protection of Tribal and rural peoples.  Rural areas, including tribal areas are not treated the same as highly populated areas during the siting or operation of crude oil pipelines.  So Bismarck is given deference but Standing Rock N.D. and Boone, IA are not.  Tribal and rural areas are considered “low consequence” and therefore not subject to the same construction standards, the same monitoring requirements, nor do they have a robust emergency response plan.  Rural and tribal areas deserve the same safety protections as others.  Despite being in low-density areas, the pipeline would cross major drinking water sources that impact hundreds of thousands of people. These areas should not only be considered high priority, the pipeline should not be allowed to cross any major drinking water source.
3) The entire pipeline must undergo a full Environmental Impact Statement.  The impact of this pipeline is so great, the failure to require a full environmental impact statement is nothing short of irresponsible. The threats to our water, land, soil, climate and many people’s livelihood is too great to have not been considered.
Therefore, we strongly urge your administration to both deny the Sect. 408 permit at Standing Rock and to withdraw the other permits until the entire project has had proper tribal consultation, proper federal siting criteria used, and has undergone a full environmental review, consistent with its scope.
 For further information, contact Carolyn Raffensperger, Science and Environmental Health Network and the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition at 515-268-0600 or




Carolyn Raffensperger
Executive Director
Science and Environmental Health Network
Winona LaDuke
Honor the Earth
Fred Kirschenmann
Kirschenmann Family Farms
Medina, ND
Barbara Warren
Executive Director
Citizens’ Environmental Coalition
New York
Stephen M. Kretzmann
Executive Director
Oil Change International
Washington, DC
Erin Switalski
Executive Director
Women’s Voices for the Earth
Missoula, MT
Kimberlee Wright
Executive Director
Midwest Environmental Advocates, Inc.
Madison, WI
Ann Manning
Women’s Congress for Future Generations
Minneapolis, MN
Jane Kleeb
President, Bold Alliance
Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, Louisiana
Kevin Whelan
Executive Director
Minneapolis, MN
Tracey Easthope, MPH
Sprout Consulting
Ann Arbor, MI
Matt Ohloff
Climate Justice Organizer
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
Des Moines, IA
Judy Braiman
Empire State Consumer Project
Rochester, NY
Mariel Nanasi
Executive Director
New Energy Economy
Santa Fe, NM
Liz Kirkwood
Executive Director
FLOW (For Love Of Water)
Traverse City, MI
Todd Leahy
Deputy Director
New Mexico Wildlife Federation
Albuquerque, NM
Michael Green, MS, MPP
Chief Executive Officer
Center for Environmental Health
Oakland, CA
Eleanor Bravo
National Pipeline Campaign Director
Food & Water Watch
Albuquerque, NM
Fran Teplitz
Executive Co-Director; Business, Investing & Policy
Green America
Washington, DC
Shelley Silbert
Executive Director
Great Old Broads for Wilderness
Durango, CO
Osprey Orielle Lake
Co-Founder/Exec.Dir. Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN)
Co-Chair International Advocacy, Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature
San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Adriana Voss-Andreae
Executive Director
Portland, OR
Bridget Holcomb,
Executive Director
Women, Food and Agriculture Network
Ames, IA
Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan, President
National Lawyers Guild
New York, NY
Mariah Urueta
Michigan Organizer
Food & Water Watch
Detroit, MI
Kathleen A. Curtis, LPN
Executive Director
Clean and Healthy New York
Albany, NY
Pamela Miller
Executive Director, Alaska Community Action on Toxics
and IPEN Co-Chair
Anchorage, AL
Tirso Moreno, General Coordinator
Farmworker Association of Florida
Apopka, FL
Judy Robinson
Executive Co-Director, Coming Clean
Brattleboro, VT
Catherine Thomasson
Executive Director
Kathy Attar
Toxics Program Manager
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Washington, DC
Carol Westinghouse
Informed Green Solutions
East Burke, Vermont
Dr. Kathleen Burns
Newbury, MA
Sharon Day,
Executive Director
Indigenous Peoples Task Force
Minneapolis, MN
John Horning,
Executive Director
WildEarth Guardians
Santa Fe, NM
Judy Braiman
Empire State Consumer Project
Rochester, NY
Dennis Jerome Spotted Tail,
direct descendant and grandson of Sinte Gleska (Chief Spotted Tail)
on behalf of the Sinte Gleska tiospaye (family)
Parmelee, SD on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation
Bruce Noble
Founder and Administrator
Wisconsin Grassroots Pipeline Awareness
Madison, WI
Guy Wolf, CARS-LaCrosse
(citizens acting for rail safety)
Stoddard, WI
Amy Ziff
Founder & Executive Director,
Made Safe & Nontoxic Certified
Irvington, NY
Justin Schott,
Executive Director
Detroit, MI
Juliette Majot,
Executive Director
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Minneapolis, MN
Duane Ninneman, Executive Director
CURE (Clean Up the River Environment)
Montevideo, MN
Nicole Rom
Executive Director
Climate Genderation: A Will Steger Legacy
Minneapolis, MN
Jill Merritt
Leadership Team
Elders Rising
Salt Lake City, UT
Lydia Avila
Executive Director
The Power Shift Network
John Blair
Valley Watch, Inc.
Evansville, IN
Mary Shesgreen
Fox Valley Citizens for Peace & Justice
Elgin, IL
Mahyar Sorour
Environmental Justice Organizer
Minnesota Public Interest Research Group (MPIRG)
Minneapolis, MN
Deni Mathews
Save Our Illinois Land (SOIL)
Phyllis Hasbrouck
350 Madison
Madison, WI
Deborah Dee
100 Grannies—Uniting for a Livable Future
Iowa City, IA
Peggy Salazar
Executive Director
Southeast Environmental Task Force
Chicago IL
Vanessa Green
Campaign Director
Divest Invest Individual
Liliana Castillo
Communications Director
Conservation Voters New Mexico & CVNM Education Fund
Peter Vander Meulen
Christian Reformed Church in North America, Office of Social Justice
Grand Rapids, MI
Erich Pica
Friends of the Earth
Washington, DC
Robby Diesu
National Coordinator, on behalf of the Advisory Council
Stop the Frack Attack
Washington, DC
Evan Weber
Executive Director
U.S. Climate Plan
Washington, DC
Bill Wood
Executive Director
West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC)
Grand Rapids, MI
Robin Milam
Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature
Grass Valley, CA
Bob Gough
Intertribal Council On Utility Policy
Rosebud, SD
Kari Carney,
Executive Director
1000 Friends of Iowa
Des Moines, IA
Thomas Krystofiak
Jefferson County Community Rights Network
Fairfield, IA
Inga Frick,
Executive Director
Southeast Iowa <a href=””></a>
Fairfield, IA
Sharon Donovan
Occupy the World Food Prize
Des Moines, IA
Michael Garfield
Ecology Center
Detroit, MI
Travis Idol
Hawaii Interfaith Power and Light
Rivka Fidel
Publicity Chair
ISU ActivUs
Ames, IA
Christine Nobiss
Indigenous Iowa
Iowa City, IA
Nation – George Gordon Plains Cree/Salteaux
First Nation
Cheryl Valenta
IOWA 350
Cedar Rapids, IA
Patrick Bosold
Executive Director
No Bakken Here group of Jefferson County, IA
Fairfield, IA