Media Misses the Facts in their Rush to Break Dakota Access News

As news of the US Army Corps of Engineers’ announcement broke, media outlets were quick to report before checking the facts. Below represents just a few of the more egregious falsities.

CNN Newsroom

“This pipeline was originally set to go through Bismarck…an about 92% white city. They said ‘listen it’s too dangerous we don’t want it here.”

Fact: Residents of Bismarck, and the Bismarck Mayor confirmed, they did not refuse to accept the threat to their water supply, and the project was not subsequently forced upon tribes at Standing Rock because white people rejected the risk.

“In a very controversial move it was rerouted through Native American sacred burial ground”

Fact: Seven archaeologists from the State Historical Society of North Dakota and the Chief Archaeologist for the state found no burial or culturally significant sites in the Dakota Access Pipeline construction corridor to date. This analysis, aligns with the US Army Corps of Engineers’ two-year review process conclusion: the project did not infringe on areas of cultural sensitivity.

“If that pipe were to leak, and these pipes leak a lot…it would not only hurt those Native Americans but millions down river.”

Fact: Crude shipments by rail are less safe than crude transported by pipeline. A study by the Manhattan Institute concluded that, by comparison to other forms of transportation, moving energy products is safer by pipeline than any other means of transportation.  The existing railroad carries roughly 300,000 barrels of oil per day. Moreover The Corps concluded that the pipeline’s consultation process met all regulatory guidelines and followed the letter of the law. Specifically, Corps lawyers noted that the project’s approval did not violate the Clean Water Act, National Historic Preservation Act or National Environmental Policy Act.

“The Army Corps of Engineers said ‘look the protestors are right, this would turn into a very dangerous thing, we can’t grant this easement.”

Fact: The protestors’ arguments were not validated. By their own admission the Corps affirmed that their initial findings were completely legal and appropriate. Moreover, Assistant Secretary of the Army Jo-Ellen Darcy, essentially admitted in her memorandum that she was writing new regulation. Finally, the administration has failed present any logical, factual, environmental, or scientific reasoning for the easement not to be issued and have resorted to ambiguity to mask a solely political agenda.

“The can also reroute it.”

Fact: A reroute at this stage is both impractical and is in no way justified. As mentioned above, there has been no substantial evidence to suggest an alternative route is necessary and

“The same logic that was used to reroute it so it doesn’t go through Bismarck is the same logic that was used to reroute it so it doesn’t go through Native American territory.”

Fact: The same logic was not used. As Standing Rock Fact CheckerSnopes, and The Bismarck Tribune have noted, the current route was always preferred to the Bismarck route as the Bismarck route would have crossed 27 more waterways, more agriculture land and would have been significantly is longer. These reports were confirmed by Bismarck mayor Mike Seminary who said there was never a discussion held about the project’s routing. In addition, the water intake plant at the center of the Dakota Access protest is actually scheduled to be moved miles away from the construction corridor. In a matter of weeks, the intake facility will move 45 miles south from its current Fort Yates location to Mobridge. When the site is up and running, the Mobridge intake will be nearly 70 miles away from the Dakota Access Pipeline.

CBS Weekend News

“For the pipeline to cross into the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.”

Fact: The project does not cross reservation land whatsoever.

NBC Nightly News

“That an oil pipeline’s planned route along the Standing Rock Sioux reservation has been denied.”

Fact: The project does not cross reservation land whatsoever.