About a month ago the Army Corps of Engineers reversed the decision made under the Obama administration to prevent completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). They scrapped their Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and issued the easement for the pipeline to be completed under Lake Oahe near the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation. The decision to issue the easement came after an Executive Order was issued by newly inaugurated President, Donald Trump.
The protests near Standing Rock were not only lengthy, but oftentimes contentious and even violent. Leading up to the Corps reversal, Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman David Archambault II had repeatedly asked that protesters go home. When word hit that the pipeline would be completed, the call went out for protesters to go to state capitols and Washington, DC.
It was just this last Tuesday that U.S. District Judge James Boasberg (an Obama appointee) rejected the Tribe’s request for an injunction against the DAPL. This was the second time Boasberg had denied a request to halt the pipeline. Only last time the Obama administration overrode his decision just minutes after he issued it.
Well, as planned, the protesters took to Washington today in what was, for all practical reasons, a pointless effort to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline. To be honest, I think the protesters themselves realize that the pipeline will not be stopped. However, they view this as a much bigger issue.
It’s no surprise that protesters in Washington view this as bigger than DAPL. Any North Dakotan paying attention knew that Standing Rock’s protest had been largely hijacked by environmental extremists. A fact that took a bit longer for some folks on Standing Rock to admit themselves.
The March on Washington mirrored much of the propaganda we saw here in North Dakota. For example, this sign:
And then there was this one that speaks volumes about how Donald Trump and his administration is viewed in the NoDAPL camp:
It’s one thing that the NoDAPL folks utilize such falsehoods and imagery, but the unfortunate thing is that many sympathetic organizations utilize them to help further the eco-extremist cause. It was this very thing that helped grow the NoDAPL movement, that as of today has cost the state nearly $35 million.
And, of course, in the footage I watched of the March on Washington there was absolutely no mention of the hypocritical disaster that protesters left back in North Dakota. A disaster that sits in a flood zone that feeds into the same river they are allegedly so worried about being polluted by oil.
Today’s protest activity in the nation’s Capitol was, for all intents and purposes, a pointless exercise of futility. Within days now, there will be oil flowing through the Dakota Access Pipeline and these protesters will be just a footnote in the history of North Dakota.