Occupy Democrats Spreads Misinformation on Dakota Access

A recent article posted by Occupy Democrats spreads patently false information about recent developments on the Dakota Access Pipeline. The title alone – “The Army Corps Just Shut Down Construction Of Dakota Pipeline” – sufficiently betrays the author’s uninformed position on the project. While the Corps has not granted its final easement for construction under Lake Oahe, progress on Dakota Access Pipeline continues – with the project over eighty percent complete.

The author goes on to ignore the facts throughout the post. As he writes:

[T]he Army Corps of Engineers has said the construction of the pipeline must be halted until “further analysis” can be completed, and that the Standing Rock Sioux tribe must be consulted with regarding the final results of the analysis. The tribe is unlikely to sign off on any analysis which is compiled, implying that the pipeline’s progress may be halted indefinitely.

While the Army Corps did write that it will “facilitate this discussion with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe,” no indication has yet been provided as to the nature of these consultations or the Tribe’s role in them. To suggest that the Corps and its approval are beholden to the protests of the Standing Rock undermines the thorough review that resulted in full approval of Dakota Access.

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe must be consulted with as a large portion of Lake Oahe is within the borders of the tribe’s reservation, to which they have property rights.

The U.S. Army Corps is involved in the Dakota Access review process because Lake Oahe is designated federal land – and the Corps’ jurisdiction is restricted to a mere 1,000 feet.

The pipeline was originally supposed to be built near residential areas, and after those residents raised concerns the construction plan was changed to infringe upon the land of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe who say the pipeline also endangers their way of life, threatens the health of their water supply, and would desecrate historic burial sites.

Again, the author displays his lack of knowledge on the project – as Standing Rock Fact Checker has previously noted, the Dakota Access route, commonly referred to as the Lake Oahe route, was always the intended and preferred route.  It was the route included with the pipeline’s permit application to the North Dakota Public Services Commission in December 2014 and was chosen as the final route for the pipeline application as early as September 2014. Further, no impacts to drinking water or cultural sites were found during North Dakota’s review of the project.

In summary, Dakota Access is by no means “shut down,” and continues to work toward granting of the final easement from the Army Corps of Engineers. Standing Rock Fact Checker encourages Occupy Democrats, along with all outlets reporting on Dakota Access, to properly check their facts before spreading misinformation on the project.