No easement for DAPL

The Washington Post reports:

The Army said Sunday that it will not approve an easement necessary for the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota, marking a monumental victory for the Native American tribes and thousands of others who have flocked in recent months to protest the pipeline.

Officials in November had delayed the key decision, saying more discussion was necessary about the proposed crossing, given that it would pass very near the reservation of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose leaders have repeatedly expressed fears that a spill could threaten the water supplies of its people.

“Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” Jo-Ellen Darcy, the Army’s assistant secretary for civil works, said in a statement Sunday. “The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”

Republicans are displeased.

U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) joined North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple in criticizing Sunday’s decision, saying it “sends a very chilling signal to others who want to build infrastructure in this country.”

“I’m encouraged we will restore law and order next month when we get a President who will not thumb his nose at the rule of law,” Cramer said in a statement. “I feel badly for the Corps of Engineers because of the diligent work it did on this project, only to have their Commander-in-Chief throw them under the bus.”

Donald Trump will not thumb his nose at the rule of law? Really? When he’s broken a good many laws, and will break a cascade more of them the minute he takes the oath of office?

Army officials said the consideration of alternative routes would be best accomplished through an environmental-impact statement with full public input and analysis, a process likely to take many months.

Will Trump be able to reverse the denial once he’s installed? I don’t know. If he can I expect he will.

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