Is the Dakota Access Decision Just a Smokescreen?

While I applaud the Obama administration for temporarily denying the permit for construction of the final portion of the Dakota Access Pipeline, my cynical side is raising its hand telling me to, “Pay Attention”. The way this news is being presented is misleading.

An example is this statement from an article in the Huffington Post:

“Federal authorities have halted construction [] of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline amid growing protests that were expected to draw some 2,000 U.S. military veterans. []

The Department of the Army has denied the final easement [] required for the $3.8 billion project to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota, it announced Sunday.”

The pipeline has NOT been halted. The final easement has NOT been denied.

From Army will not grant easement for Dakota Access Pipeline crossing [] “Instead, it will conduct an Environmental Impact Statement to examine the impacts and explore alternative routes, it said.”

This statement by the Army Corps of Engineers is very likely a diversion. Explore alternative routes? Energy Transfer Partners has made it clear this route is the only route they plan to take. Dakota Access Pipeline operator lashes out at decision to halt construction []

An EIS is a welcomed move, but it’s something that should have taken place a long time ago. Oil company lawyers have found a way around the National Environmental Protection Act procedures intended protect our lands*. It appears to me that the Army Corp of Engineers has not put up much resistance to the use of these loopholes by Energy Transfer Partners; nor has this administration.

Publicity of #NoDAPL action and large numbers of vets showing up to protect the Water Protectors has caused Energy Transfer Partners and their minions to realize they’ve lost this battle and they can no longer continue operating in the way they have been – using abusive measures against indigenous people of a sovereign nation that had, so often in the past, been beat down.

This temporary pause by the Army Corp of Engineers is likely just a smokescreen.

This tactic has been tried before. Obama Administration’s Suspension of Contested Dakota Access Pipeline Construction Demonstrates Strength of Indigenous Climate Justice Movement [] back in September comes to mind.  Don’t let this latest attempt at diverting attention succeed.

The #NoDAPL movement is at a cross roads. All of us must stay vigilant or the pipeline will not be stopped.

I’ve been politically involved and paying attention since the late 60’s. I’ve seen a lot of diversionary tactics and their results. When it’s obvious that your actions can no longer win this battle, what would you do if you wanted to see DAPL completed? How about make people think they won so they ‘move along, there’s nothing to see here’. This will likely cause dispersal of people at the camps and lessening of support. Publicity will also be easier to stifle.

One of the very promising results of this election is that millions of people have realized that they can no longer remain quiet against this kind of injustice. If a lot of people are fooled into allowing their focus to be diverted from DAPL, the narrative will change. Media can easily stop reporting on this issue. Gearing back up will take time, especially if the forces-that-be create more barricades for allies to gather. By that time, the pipeline will be completed and the Trump administration will be in control.

I really hope this won’t be the case here, but I have strong doubts. I feel it is imperative that we keep supporting the Standing Rock Sioux and maintain the momentum the Water Protectors have initiated until this is fully resolved.

Here are some ways you can help:

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe DAPL Donation Fund  []

Official Sacred Stone Camp GoFundMe []

Stay informed – Indian Country Today News  []

*I apologize for not having a source for this. I read this a few days ago but unable to find it. Perhaps an alert reader can help supply documentation.