The following is a statement from the MAIN Coalition regarding latest developments in North Dakota yesterday:
“The people of North Dakota and the skilled laborers along the Dakota Access pipeline have the right to live and work in a safe and harassment-free environment and the members of the MAIN Coalition thank local law enforcement officers for their willingness to protect the public peace. It’s unfortunate that the situation escalated to the point that it has, but it was not unexpected after reports from the Sheriff’s office that protesters refused a final entreaty to leave their illegal roadblock earlier this week.
Unfortunately, this roadblock was just the latest in a string of illegal behavior that local law enforcement, ranchers, and citizens have had to endure. More importantly, this was completely unnecessary and is a result of the Obama Administration’s unwarranted delay in issuing the final, already-approved, easement for about a 1,000 feet under the Missouri River, a body of water that already has at least eight pipelines crossing north of this site.
The entire 1,172 mile project – much of which was collocated with a pre-existing natural gas pipeline and none of which crosses the Standing Rock Sioux reservation – has been approved and permitted by four states and the federal government after more than 800 days of surveys, studies, and consultations with individuals, elected officials, and leaders of 55 Native American tribes and thousands of other elected officials and citizens. Once completed the pipeline will replace rail tankers and trucks currently being used to ship hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil every day.
We remain hopeful that the Administration will quickly issue the final easement so that the project can be completed and the people of North Dakota can get back to life as normal.”