Things may finally be calming down out at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camps. Well… maybe. Despite winning a temporary victory from former President Obama (it’s hard to say that without smiling) on his way out, many of the protesters have steadfastly refused to leave. But since they are supposedly there in support of the Sioux tribes who would be directly affected, it’s going to be tough to justify sticking around now that the natives have voted to ask them to leave. (Fortune)
A Sioux tribal council on Saturday formally asked hundreds of protesters to clear out of three camps near its North Dakota reservation used to stage months of sometimes violent protests against the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe on Friday unanimously passed a resolution calling for the camps to be dismantled, it said on its Facebook page on Saturday. The tribe has been encouraging protesters to go home since the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers agreed to an environmental review of the $3.8 billion project in December.
Despite earlier discussions about alternative sites, the resolution made no provision for relocating the estimated 600 protesters, which include non-native environmental activists and Native Americans from outside the tribe.
This actually isn’t a new position for the tribe. The chief of the Standing Rock tribe unofficially asked the protesters to leave back in the beginning of December, as John Sexton discussed at the time. This was partly to move the debate into courtrooms and mediation, but also to try to save some of these idiots from freezing to death. Still, though their numbers have been decreasing, quite a few of them simply couldn’t take a hint. Now, with a formal request from the actual property owners who they are supposedly “defending” perhaps they will pack up their torches, spray paint and explosives and move on to the next cause they’re being paid to support in a grassroots fashion.
If so, it will come as a welcome relief to most of the people concerned. Thus far the local, state and federal governments have had to cough up more than $22M just to cover the law enforcement expenses involved in managing these protests. As far as the actual owners of the pipeline project go, they’ve likely blown through their insurance caps in some instances, with literally millions of dollars of construction equipment having been destroyed by the peaceful protesters.
You can add this pipeline to the lengthy list of things President Trump will need to attend to in the weeks to come after he has his own people in charge of the Justice Department, Interior and the EPA. Given the straightforward nature of his new America First Energy Policy page at the White House web site, I suspect that various pipeline projects around the country will finally have an ally in Washington and we can get back to business.