Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Dakota Pipeline ...Stories...

Sioux Chief Asks North Dakota Pipeline Protesters to Go Home

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IT’S TIME TO BE HONEST ABOUT THE DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINE PROTESTERS [OPINION]

People like to feel like they are a part of something, and the Dakota access pipeline protests are no different. Opportunistic activists, celebrities and a sleugh of Native American tribes have, with the help of the media, done an excellent job of ensuring that the narrative there reflects their version of events.

Namely, that a small, heroic band of Native Americans (and well-to-do environmentalists who can afford to fly there from around the country) are “protecting the water” from an intrusive government hell-bent on destroying the Sioux’s water supply, and in the eyes of the public, their way of life.

The historical parallels make for a compelling story. Native Americans were treated poorly by the government in the past, and now the noble Standing Rock Sioux are “standing” up to the evil Army Corps of Engineers, whose only goal is to desecrate sacred burial grounds while failing to inform the tribe of their intentions from the outset. It reflects the broken treaties and unkept promises to Native Americans of the 19th century.

Unfortunately, the facts simply do not reflect this narrative. The protestors’ tale begins to break down under the kind of scrutiny that any decent journalist should apply to it, a scrutiny which very few honest reporters actually utilized in this case.

No matter how many stories the media prints about young Sophia Wilansky’s arm being blown off by a police concussion grenade, they will fail to convince me (someone who used explosives in the military and knows what an RE Factor is) that it wasn’t Sophia’s own emplacing of a propane tank improvised explosive device that mangled her appendage. IED emplacers manage to hurt themselves all the time. She is no different.

Go ahead and google her name. I’ll wait for any other journalistic article to come up that followed up on her initial claims.

There is absolutely no way that Sophia Wilansky’s arm took the kind of damage it did from a concussion grenade, which the police don’t even use. The only kind of grenade they might have are flashbangs, which couldn’t possibly do that kind of damage.

She learned a valuable lesson in IED emplacement, though, the same lesson that these three gentlemen in Afghanistan also learned:




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White House (not the Army) halts Dakota Access Pipeline work yet again


Remind me again… how many more days is it until this administration is finally gone?
Throwing yet another wrench into what has long since been settled law in the courts, the Army Corps of Engineers (CoE) issued another conflicting announcement this weekend in which they claimed that an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline to go under Lake Oahe would not be granted. This, of course, had the professional protesters in the area celebrating and the company building the project shaking their heads in disbelief. (CNN))
The Army will not approve an easement that would allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota, the Army’s assistant secretary for civil works announced Sunday.
Jo-Ellen Darcy said in a press release she based her decision on a need to explore alternate routes for the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing. It was announced on November 14, 2016 that her office was delaying the decision on the easement to allow for discussions with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose reservation lies 0.5 miles south of the proposed crossing.
As NBC News was reporting yesterday, both Energy Transfer Partners (the owners of the project) and both of the state’s senators called foul and said that these delays and harassment would end once Obama leaves office.
Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the project, denounced the decision Sunday night as “a purely political action.”
“The White House’s directive today to the Corps for further delay is just the latest in a series of overt and transparent political actions by an administration which has abandoned the rule of law in favor of currying favor with a narrow and extreme political constituency,” it said in a statement…
Sen. John Hoeven, R-North Dakota, said the decision”violates the rule of law and fails to resolve the issue. Instead, it passes the decision off to the next administration, which has already indicated it will approve the easement, and in the meantime perpetuates a difficult situation for North Dakotans.”
Just to be clear, this obviously wasn’t a move which was made in a vacuum by the CoE. This came straight from the White House with the backing of the Justice Department. It was over a month ago when the Army began making noises about “looking at an alternate route” in response to the protests. But keep in mind that the current route is the one which the Army already approved and it was that approval which formed the basis for the state Public Service Commission’s decision to provide final approval. That approval was twice challenged in court and upheld both times.
The Institute for Energy Research has been following the legal aspects of this case with regular updates and last night they issued the following statement.
“The Obama administration’s decision to strong-arm the Army Corps of Engineers is a violation of the rule of law that will chill investment in safe energy infrastructure. Much worse, it will unnecessarily escalate the tense situation on the ground between law enforcement and the protestors. It is unfortunate that in the sunset of his presidency, Obama chose to inflame rather than heal with this symbolic, but short-lived decision.”
Symbolic but short lived” is the key takeaway here. This wasn’t a decision based in engineering, the law or science. It was a political move in which the Army Corps of Engineers had their arms twisted by the White House. But this plan has already been upheld in court and there is virtually no doubt that the easement will be granted shortly after Trump takes office. This move represents yet another pointless fit of pique by Barack Obama as he plays politics with the job market on his way out the door.
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