In a statement released on Twitter, former Secretary of the Interior for the Obama Administration Sally Jewell voiced her opinion on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decision to grant the final easement necessary to construct the Dakota Access Pipeline.
To the masses of protesters that comprise the remnants of the Obama Administration echo chamber her statement was welcome – but for the rest of America, including those that voted for a change in our leadership and remain committed to the future of infrastructure, the economy, and the laws, it is just another attempt by an Obama political appointee to unduly influence the lawful regulatory process outside the purview of her responsibilities.
No news there.
Despite the responsibility and judgement of district commanders, and trained engineers to make a recommendation on the future of the project, Jo-Ellen Darcy, a political appointee attempted to stymie the project to fulfill the overarching anti-development goals of the Obama Administration. While refusing to support local law enforcement, and dangerously delaying a project which incited further violent protests, the Obama Administration played fast and loose with America’s regulatory framework once again putting politics before policy.
Based on statements from Ms. Jewell – apparently one doesn’t even need to be in the White House anymore to attempt to continue the charade.
In a statement released by the MAIN Coalition, spokesman Craig Stevens states “there is no reasonable argument that the Corps’ did not attempt to fully engage with Native tribes. Throughout the nearly 1,000 days the Dakota Access Pipeline has been under consideration, the Corps engaged with 55 Native tribes at least 389 times. Judge Boasberg himself articulated in his opinion rejecting the tribe’s request for an injunction to stop the work at Lake Oahe, that the Corps “exceeded” its obligations. And, in addition to the Army Corps’ thousand page environmental assessment, each of the four states through which the pipeline travels independently reviewed and approved the pipeline’s path.”
Though she claims to stand with the Corps, Ms. Jewell’s position, divorced from both facts and reality, aligns her with a narrow subset of political appointees whose loyalty to the politics of the Obama Administration consistently superseded their duty to uphold their mission and the law.
In today’s context, with new leadership at the helm of our government, Ms. Jewell should probably heed the words of her former boss before she attempts to slander the decision of the Corps further: “Elections have consequences, and at the end of the day, I won,” – President Barack Obama, 2009.