House Committee on Natural Resources Democrats hold forum, perpetuate misinformation

On Thursday, the House Committee on Natural Resources’ Democrats held a forum on the Dakota Access Pipeline the ongoing protest by the Standing Rock Sioux and affiliated tribes. Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) hosted the event and invited fellow Congressman Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.) among others. Both lawmakers have been vocal opponents of the project.  The whole panel can be watched at the video here.  Keep reading for some of the claims raised about the pipeline – and the facts.

Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee

  • Claim [3:44]: “For months, members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe along with thousands of other tribal members and supporters have peacefully gathered.”
  • Fact: The ongoing protest has not been entirely peaceful. Law enforcement officials have been attacked in addition to repeated threats toward pipeline workers and community members.

Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (D-Calif.), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs

  • Claim [11:38]: “We cannot allow this to be another example of a failed consultation.”
  • Fact: The US Army Corps. of Engineers had 389 cultural survey meetings with Native Tribes. Furthermore the Standing Rock Sioux chose not to accept 7 additional meetings offered.

Dave Archambault II, Chairman, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

  • Claim [16:44]: “We felt that, we are a sovereign nation and we never had meaningful consultation for a project like this.
  • Fact: The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe specifically were consulted 11 times, not counting the meetings they turned down.

Faith Spotted Eagle, Ihanktonwan Oyate Spiritual Leader and Elder

  • Claim [32:54]: “You see it every day on the news—there’s a pipeline that is breaking. It’s not if but when.”
  • Fact: Pipelines are by far the safest method of transporting crude oil—far safer that rail which already exists on Standing Rock reservation land.