“This is what the tribe has been fighting for many months. Their fearless organizing continues to change the game.”
A federal judge handed down a major victory for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe of North Dakota on Wednesday, ruling that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated the National Environmental Policy Act by approving federal permits for the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The USACE must complete a full environmental impact study of the pipeline, including full consideration of concerns presented by the Standing Rock Tribe, the judge ruled. The tribe has asked the court to ultimately shut the pipeline down.
BREAKING: The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe scored a major victory in the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline today when a court found the Trump administration violated the law when it issued permits for the project. #NoDAPL https://t.co/JStMsEilbN
— Earthjustice (@Earthjustice) March 25, 2020
The court chastised the USACE for moving ahead with affirming the permits in 2016 and allowing the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) crossing the Missouri River after President Donald Trump assumed office in 2017, without considering the expert analysis put forward by the tribe.
“After years of commitment to defending our water and earth, we welcome this news of a significant legal win. It’s humbling to see how actions we took four years ago to defend our ancestral homeland continue to inspire national conversations about how our choices ultimately affect this planet.”
—Mike Faith, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
The Standing Rock Sioux had raised concerns regarding the likelihood and danger of potential oil spills, DAPL’s leak-detection system, and the safety record of Sunoco Logistics, the company behind the pipeline. Sunoco “has experienced 276 incidents resulting in over $53 million in property damage from 2006 to 2016” and has “one of the lowest performing safety records of any operator in the industry,” the tribe’s experts found.
The federal ruling “validates everything the Tribe has been saying all along about the risk of oil spills to the people of Standing Rock,” said Earthjustice attorney Jan Hasselman in a statement. “The Obama administration had it right when it moved to deny the permits in 2016, and this is the second time the court has ruled that the government ran afoul of environmental laws when it permitted this pipeline. We will continue to see this through until DAPL has finally been shut down.”
DAPL and the fight against the pipeline was the subject of international attention in 2016 when thousands of water defenders gathered at camps in North Dakota, facing a highly militarized police force armed with tanks, riot gear, rubber bullets, and other weapons.
Since Trump reversed former President Barack Obama’s December 2016 order denying the permits and allowed the construction to be completed in June 2017, the tribe has challenged the permits and demanded the USACE conduct a full environmental analysis.
Wednesday’s ruling represented a “huge victory” for the tribe, 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben tweeted.
Holy heck! In huge victory for Standing Rock Sioux, federal judge orders review of Dakota Access Pipeline. Such thanks to all who fight!https://t.co/miZ7wVHwlm
— Bill McKibben (@billmckibben) March 25, 2020
“After years of commitment to defending our water and earth, we welcome this news of a significant legal win,” said Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Mike Faith. “It’s humbling to see how actions we took four years ago to defend our ancestral homeland continue to inspire national conversations about how our choices ultimately affect this planet. Perhaps in the wake of this court ruling the federal government will begin to catch on, too, starting by actually listening to us when we voice our concerns.”
Others on social media celebrated the victory and applauded the “tireless efforts” of the campaigners, with the East Bay Democratic Socialists of America calling the decision the “absolute best possible outcome” of the court battle.
— East Bay DSA 🌹 (@DSAEastBay) March 25, 2020
Huge win for #StandingRock!
The Federal Judge struck down the DAPL permit and has ordered a full Environmental Impact Statement. This is what the tribe has been fighting for for many months. Their fearless organizing continues to change the game. #NoDAPLhttps://t.co/r3fG3SBlhB
— Adam Greenberg 🔥🍑 (@pragmactivist) March 25, 2020
#BREAKING A huge win! The Dakota Access Pipeline permits have officially been struck down. Major congrats and gratitude to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe for their tireless efforts! #NoDAPL #StandingRockhttps://t.co/WPQxcvjGfF
— Sierra Club BC (@SierraClubBC) March 25, 2020
“This is why we never stop fighting,” Earthjustice president Abbie Dillen said.
Pro-Trump conservatives ‘trading short-term political gain for long-term ruin’: columnist
Writing in The Atlantic this Wednesday, Rachel Shelden contends that Republicans are finding themselves "boxed in" after enabling President Donald Trump's conspiracy theories about mass voter fraud in the 2020 election.
According to Shelden, the current situation Republicans face is similar to the aftermath of the 1860 election.
‘NO WAY!’ Trump starts off Thanksgiving by whining about his election loss
President Donald Trump started off Thanksgiving by whining about his election loss to Joe Biden.
Biden earned a record 80 million votes, with ballots still being counted, and the president reacted to that news Thursday by insisting his loss was impossible.
"Just saw the vote tabulations," Trump tweeted. "There is NO WAY Biden got 80,000,000 votes!!! This was a 100% RIGGED ELECTION."
Twitter immediately slapped a disclaimer on his unfounded claims, which have been rejected over and over by courts and were disputed by the Homeland Security official who oversaw election security -- until the president fired him.
Trump will soon be a ‘dumpy 74-year-old wheeling around the golf course’ while awaiting ‘his next cheeseburger’: columnist
Daily Beast columnist Margaret Carlson on Thursday published a brutal opinion piece in which she danced on President Donald Trump's political grave and relished the thought of his fading into irrelevancy.
In her column, Carlson acknowledged many liberals' fears that Trump will never leave the national spotlight, but she said the soon-to-be-ex-president is more likely to be treated more like a washed-up celebrity that a political icon.
"To those worried we will never rid ourselves of Trump, watch as he shrinks before our very eyes in a Washington minute from leader of the free world to a broken-down real estate developer up to his ears in debt," she wrote. "On Monday, Trump was just another dumpy 74-year-old man wheeling around the golf course in a motorized cart wondering how long it would be until his next cheeseburger."