Along with four other fellow Democratic Senators, Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders, has called for US President Barack Obama to halt construction of Energy Transfer Partners’ infamous Dakota Access pipeline in order to undertake an environmental review of the project.
The pipeline project has been under protest by environmentalists and, more notably, members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe as well as other indigenous groups.
However, on Thursday 13 October, Sanders and the four other Democrats, Patrick Leahy (Vermont), Dianne Feinstein (California), Edward Markey (Massachusetts ) and Benjamin Cardin (Maryland) addressed Obama in a letter detailing environmental and cultural concerns of the 1172 mile pipeline.
The letter stated: “In light of the decision of the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit to reject the Standing Rock Sioux Tribes’s request for a temporary halt to construction, the project’s current permits should be suspended and all construction stopped until a complete environmental and cultural review has been completed for the entire project.”Continuing, the Senators wrote: "The pipeline's construction is not only a violation of tribal treaty rights, but has the potential to cause more damage to sacred land. Until there has been full and meaningful tribal consultation, all pipeline permits and easements should be revoked or denied."
The letter also drew relevance to the similarly infamous Keystone XL pipeline expansion project, which was rejected by Obama last year due to climate concerns.
"The Dakota Access will have a significant impact on our climate. All fossil fuels infrastructure projects of this significance must be subjected to a test to consider the long term climate impacts … Not unlike the Keystone XL pipeline, the Dakota Access will have a significant impact on our climate. According to Oil Change International, the Dakota Access pipeline would have the same impact on the planet as adding 21.4 million more cars to the road or 30 new coal plants."
Whilst Sanders is making his opinion heard, Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has yet to take a stance on Dakota Access. Following the release of Sanders’ letter, both the Clinton and Trump parties were asked to comment; neither have.
A a result, environmental groups have requested Clinton take a stance on the pipeline. Environmentalist, Bill McKibben, commented: “The fight at Standing Rock is a big damned thing. It's a Flint-in-the-making, and it's also a chance to for once do right by the continent's oldest inhabitants. Surely Hillary Clinton can rise to the occasion. Can't she?”
Similarly, Gyasi Rossi, Lawyer and citizen of the Blackfeet Nation, stated: "Clinton ... is supposed to be a Native ally. We deserve to know her position."
Sanders’ request could delay the pipeline project from being completed on time; by the end of 2016.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldpipelines.com/project-news/14102016/sanders-calls-for-dakota-access-halt/