Some concerned American youths are currently pressing President Joe Biden to shut down the Dakota Access Pipe Line (DAPL), and to stop action on Line 3.
Former President Donald Trump’s backing of the pipeline project set the stage for a new confrontation with native Americans and environmentalists.
Within days of taking office, Trump signed two presidential memoranda supporting both the Dakota and the Keystone XL pipelines – telling the army to review one, and inviting a private company to re-apply for the other.
The $3.7billion pipeline project is planned at nearly 1,200 miles long to transport some 470,000 barrels of crude oil a day across four states, from North Dakota to a terminal in Illinois, where it can be shipped to refineries.
The pipeline is being promoted as providing a more cost-effective, efficient means of transporting crude, rather than shipping barrels by train.
The project, built by a subsidiary of Texas-based company, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), will also increase profit margins for oil companies while crude prices are low.
Most of the pipeline has already been built but the section closest to the Standing Rock Sioux reservation was still awaiting federal approval.
To build back fossil free, Standing Rock Youth Council is insisting that Biden must shut down DAPL and stop Line 3.
An international environmental justice group, Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) has announced that the youth council completed a 93-mile relay run on Monday across the Standing Rock Sioux Nation, from Timber Lake to Cannonball River, the site of the historic NoDAPL Oceti Sakowin camp from more than four years ago.
Established in 1990, IEN is nonprofit that works with tribal grassroots organisations to build the capacity of Indigenous communities. Its activities include empowering indigenous communities and tribal governments to develop mechanisms to protect their sacred sites, land, water, air, natural resources, the health of both their people and all living things, and to build economically sustainable communities.
A member of the Standing Rock Youth Council, Jordin Sam, according to a statement wired to this reporter by IEN said, “we did this for one simple reason: the Dakota Access pipeline is illegal. It was pushed on our community, ignoring our treaties, just like Line 3.’’
Along with Monday’s run, the Standing Rock Youth Council is urging President Biden to take action in a video they released last Thursday. Across the country people uploaded photos and videos in solidarity with the youth’s call for ShutdownDAPL solidarity actions including Los Angeles, Omaha and San Antonio.
Federal Courts have affirmed that tribal treaty rights and environmental injustices and violations have occurred, and they have asked for the pipeline to cease operations while a new environmental study is conducted.
A hearing scheduled for this February 10 between a US District Judge and the US Army Corps of Engineers has been postponed to April 9 to allow the Army Corps to decide on whether the pipeline will be shut down or allowed to operate illegally without a permit.
“We ran for the water just as we did four years ago. Biden has the opportunity to do right by Indigenous communities and must shut down DAPL and Line 3”, says Joseph White Eyes, member of the Cheyenne River Grassroots Collective. “Pushing these projects without our consent is ruining our way of life.”