Target: Commanding General of the Army Corps of Engineers Lieutenant General Semonite
Goal: Applaud the denial of the drilling and construction permits for the Dakota Access pipeline.
In a victory for indigenous rights, water rights, and in the fight against climate change, the Army Corps of Engineers has announced that it will deny drilling permits to Energy Access Partners, the firm responsible for the Dakota Access Pipeline. Barring a lengthy appeal process or a reversal by the incoming Trump Administration, the decision will force the firm to find alternative routes for the pipeline, a task that may be close to impossible.
The decision guarantees that the firm will miss a deadline that may endanger its contracts with oil companies as oil companies have an opportunity to renegotiate commitments to ship oil via the pipeline. Given that the initial agreements were negotiated when oil prices were high, and oil production in North Dakota was increasing. However, the oil price has more than halved since then and oil production in North Dakota has decreased. If oil firms decide to withdraw from the project they may cause a financial crisis within Energy Partners, effectively permanently halting the firm’s progress on the project.
This victory was only possible due to an unrelenting campaign of political pressure and civil disobedience led by the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and supported by both indigenous peoples from throughout the Americas and the world, environmentalists, and activists. The campaign included a number of petitions including these Force Change Petitions. Sign our petition and applaud the decision to revoke the drilling and construction permit.
Dear Lieutenant General Semonite,
I was pleased to hear that the Army Corps of Engineers has decided to deny drilling and construction permits for the Dakota Access Pipeline construction at Lake Oahe. This is an important victory for both the rights of indigenous nations in America as well as in the fight to mitigate global climate change. Furthermore, this decision protects waters that provide millions of people with drinking water from contamination due to an almost inevitable spill.
Moving forward, I urge you to ensure that the Army Corps of Engineers continues to evaluate future project proposals fairly, taking into account the full threat to the environment of future petroleum developments including pipelines. Further, I urge you to continue to build strong links with local populations, ensuring that communities in the vicinity of potential project sites have input into whether the project moves forward or not.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Nati Harnik