On the 5th of December, DC-MD-VA Veterans Stand with Standing Rock held an all-day”stand-in” on the East side of the US Capitol. Congressman Grijalva was the keynote speaker, warning Trump not to attempt to undo Obama’s Dec 4 refusal via the US Army Corps of Engineers to grant an easement to finish the pipeline.
Water protectors fear Trump will reverse this victory. There are again reports that Energy Transfer plans to drill without an easement, pay the $50K a day fines, and wait for Trump to take over. Water protectors are staying put and the campaign continues.
Here in DC, there will be another Standing Rock solidarity event at the Potter’s House on Tuesday Dec 6 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. Another major march against the pipeline is scheduled for Saturday Dec 10 starting 1PM on the West Lawn of the US Capitol and marching to the EPA. As some in Standing Rock have said, we are not leaving until THEY leave, meaning the drill pads are dismantled and Energy Transfer Partners packs up their shit and leaves.
While there has been much jubiliation about the denial of the easement, there are great fears this victory is temporary. If it holds it may be greatest Native American victory over the forces of destruction, displacement, and genocide in living memory, but Obama has less than two months left in office. Trump may be cracking a bit under the pressure, now saying he will “study” the issue of rerouting the pipeline but he has said before he supports its completion. All of the pipeline except the part for which the US Army Corps of Engineers has denied the easment is now finishd. Thus, rerouting the pipeline would require Energy Transfer to walk away from already-completed sections of pipe, essentially building them twice.This may have been deliberate on their part, an effort to force a decision at great risk to their investors (TD Bank, Citibank, Wells Fargo etc.)
Veterans are still arriving at Standing Rock as this is written, and on tthe 5th of December marched in a blizzard towards the disputed Highway 1806 bridge. Reports that Energy Transfer is ALREADY drilling under the river have been said by the Standing Rock Sioux to be false, but reports are rife they plan to start drilling soon, permit or not. Sacred Stone Camp is asking on their blog if Obama and the current US government is willing to use force to stop Energy Transfer from completing the pipeline in defiance of the denied easement. The $50,000 a day fines obviously would end the day Donald Trump takes office. Fines not backed up by jail time and the willingness to use force cannot stop any activity that pays more than the cost of the fines.