The Standing Rock Sioux and their supporters won a victory on December 4 when the Army Corps of Engineers blocked Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the developer of the Dakota Access Pipeline, from completing the last section of the pipeline under the Missouri River. The pipeline, now about 90 percent complete, aims to transport approximately half a million barrels of shale oil each day from the Bakken formation in western North Dakota to a terminal in Illinois. The tribe says allowing the pipeline to cross the river would threaten its water supply and its sacred sites.
Over the past several months, thousands have been camping in North Dakota to protest the pipeline’s completion. Last August, NYSNA President Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, RN, and Program Rep Eliza Carboni traveled to Standing Rock to support the tribe’s rights to protect its water supply and ancestral lands.
When the Army Corps issued its decision to deny the permit, protestors cheered and chanted, “Mni Wiconi” or water is life. Campers aren’t leaving just yet, however, and are preparing to endure the harsh North Dakota winter. Once the president-elect is sworn in, ETP is counting on having powerful federal allies that are likely to support its quest to complete the pipeline as originally planned under the Missouri River.