Crude Accountability expresses its solidarity with the people of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and urges Judge Boasberg of the federal district court in Washington, D.C. to uphold the principle of free prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples when ruling on the injunction for the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Dakota Access LLC, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners, is operating the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which is designed to transport up to 570,000 barrels of crude oil per day from North Dakota to a terminal in Illinois. The pipeline route runs through, and would destroy, sacred ancestral lands of the Standing Rock Sioux, now owned by the Army Corp of Engineers. Further, the pipeline is planned to pass under the Missouri River at Lake Oahe, just a half mile upstream from the boundary of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. Any potential spill would be disastrous to the reservation’s water supply.
In July, the Standing Rock Sioux filed a lawsuit against the Army Corp of Engineers for their failure to adequately protect and engage the tribe in the decision to provide permits for the pipe on their property. Further, the claim argues violation of the Clean Water Act, National Historic Protection Act, and National Environmental Policy Act when issuing the permits.
In recent weeks, the world has witnessed clashes between impacted indigenous communities and the company representatives. Violent tactics, disregard for the universal principle of free, prior and informed consent of indigenous people, and endangerment of the community’s water supply demonstrate worst practice in natural resource governance and further marginalize an already vulnerable indigenous community. The Universal Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous People, endorsed by President Obama, enshrines the principle of free prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples prior to adopting legal or administrative measures that may affect them.
“Crude Accountability fights for justice among communities affected by oil and gas development in the Caspian Sea region,” said Sonia Zilberman, Coordinator for Energy and Environment at Crude, “and we have seen time and time again how a lack of transparency and accountability to the impacted communities within the hydrocarbon sector leads to atrocious human rights violations. We cannot let this happen in our own country.”
Crude Accountability stands in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in demanding the federal district court in Washington, D.C rule in favor of the preliminary injunction to stop all construction of the pipeline until the case is resolved.