Published: Wed, February 01, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

Army corps poised to approve Dakota access pipeline, senator says

Army corps poised to approve Dakota access pipeline, senator says

The confusion arose after two congressmen issued news releases late in the day declaring they had been notified the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been directed to issue an easement by the acting secretary of the army to complete the pipeline.

Tipis on the outskirts of the Dakota Access oil pipeline protest camp are seen through concertina wire from a police outpost near Cannon Ball, North Dakota on January 29, 2017.

The pipeline project has been stalled for months over opposition from Standing Rock, which has expressed fears that a leak in the pipeline where it crosses the river would contaminate the water supply. "We are not opposed to energy independence".

Last Tuesday President Trump signed an executive order to move forward with the Dakota Access Pipeline and invited TransCanada to reapply for a presidential permit to build the Keystone XL Pipeline.

"President Trump has proven to be a man of action and I am grateful for his commitment to this and other critical infrastructure projects so vital to our nation", the North Dakota Republican said in a statement. Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota Democrat, in calling for federal law-enforcement resources to help with the protests.

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A cleanup of the camps which lie in the floodplain has meanwhile begun, with members of the Standing Rock Tribe leading calls for protesters to leave the area and instead take the fight to Washington D.C.

The Dakota Access Pipeline sparked a massive political fight past year after Standing Rock Sioux tribal officials came out against the project, saying it would trample over sacred sites and threaten its drinking water. He said, however, he expected the easement would be issued soon, probably next week.

A spokesman for the U.S. Army did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday night.

"President Trump is legally required to honor our treaty rights and provide a fair and reasonable pipeline process", Standing Rock Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II said in a previous statement.

Lawyers for the tribe have previously said they would challenge the action in court should the easement be issued without a full environmental impact statement being conducted. "It makes it even more hard when one considers the close personal ties you and your associates have had with Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco".

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