Carolyn Raffensperger, , (515) 268-0600
Over 70 Organizations Call on President Obama to Stop Dakota Access Pipeline
Des Moines, IA – Over 70 grassroots organizations from around the United States sent a letter to President Obama and several federal agencies challenging them to expand the review of their permitting process and revoke the federal permits that have been issued for the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline.
On September 9th, the Obama administration released a memo saying, “The Army will not authorize constructing the Dakota Access pipeline on Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe until it can determine whether it will need to reconsider any of its previous decisions regarding the Lake Oahe site under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) or other federal laws.” We agree and urge the President to expand the review to examine the permit that authorized the entire length of the pipeline.
“For over two years, we’ve been demanding that the Army Corps of Engineers and other federal agencies protect the water, Tribal and rural lands and future generations,” Carolyn Raffensperger of the Science and Environmental Health Network said. “The President has an extraordinary opportunity to do the right thing now and review the entire permitting process from North Dakota to Iowa to Illinois.”
The current hold on the one permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that would allow Dakota Access to construct the pipeline under the Missouri River just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation is largely due to the unprecedented and powerful water protectors at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
“Environmental justice requires special consideration to those communities who receive little of the benefits of such development, but are subjected to most of the risks involved,” Bob Gough, Secretary of Intertribal COUP, said. “These pipelines have and will fail. Count on it! The threats to our water are real.”
Letters have been sent by members of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate calling on the President to revoke and reject federal permits for the Dakota Access pipeline and then do a full Environmental Impact Statement and tribal consultation. And a recent letter from Senator Bernie Sanders urged him to protect the peaceful water protectors from the abusive tactics of the militarized police at Standing Rock. We join them in their petition of President Obama.
Just yesterday, President Obama stated that he was looking in to re-routing the Dakota Access Pipeline and let the process play out for several more weeks.
“Given the deeply flawed approval process for the Dakota Access Pipeline, President Obama must revoke all U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permits for the pipeline and require a full Environmental Impact Statement and tribal consultation,” said Matt Ohloff, climate justice organizer with Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement. “In order to maintain his legacy as president of addressing climate change, President Obama must put the people of the United States, our water and our climate above the narrow profits of the fossil fuel industry.”
The Science and Environmental Health Network (www.sehn.org) is a national organization that uses science and law to make effective decisions that protect public health and the environment.
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement is a statewide, grassroots people’s action group that uses community organizing to win public policy that puts communities before corporations and people before profits, politics and polluters. CCI has been fighting to put people first for over 40 years. Follow us on Twitter at @iowacci.