As Standing Rock Tribe Struggles to Defend Pipeline Opposition, Union Urges Streamlined Approval

Erin Mundahl | InsideSources

Representatives from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Energy Transfer Partners, and the Laborers’ International Union met Wednesday in a congressional hearing on energy infrastructure development. Over the course of the two-hour hearing, the Standing Rock tribe struggled to defend its opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Chad Harrison, a councilman for the Standing Rock tribe, presented the DAPL project as another instance of the U.S. government seizing tribal land.

“The proposal to build the Dakota Access pipeline across the Tribes’ taken treaty lands, and across the Missouri a half a mile upstream of our Reservation, illustrates the continued historic pattern of abuse,” he said.

Harrison acknowledged that the company attempted to schedule meetings about the pipeline route, but emphasized that this was not a “meaningful consultation.” He urged the committee to pass new legislation requiring tribal consent before future energy infrastructure development or to allow tribes to impose conditions on future projects.

However, he had few answers for the committee when asked about Energy Transfer Partners’ numerous attempts to meet with the tribe about the project. Instead, he stressed that “there has never been a meaningful consultation about where to cross that river.”

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