While the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last month denied an easement necessary for drilling under the Missouri River, the company behind the pipeline is looking to resume the project once President-elect Donald Trump takes office.
The Republican-dominated North Dakota legislature is also pushing legislation that would make it legal to run over protestors with cars, among other anti-protest measures.
Still, despite the odds, harsh winter weather, and growing tension, Indigenous water protectors and allies are continuing to maintain a presence near the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s reservation, to protect the Missouri River’s water.
In video footage taken at the scene Monday afternoon, water protectors can be seen peacefully chanting and singing in front of a line of riot police holding batons and other weapons:
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North Dakota’s new Republican Gov. Doug Burgum has reaffirmed his favor of the project, telling Reuters that he is confident that the pipeline will be approved by Donald Trumpwhen he comes into the White House.
“I expect the world’s going to change dramatically on that day relative to finding resolution on this issue,” Burgum said. “I would expect that (Energy Transfer Partners, DAPL’s parent company) will get its easement and it will go through.”
The president-elect formally announced his support for the completion of the DAPL last month. His transition team noted that his support for the pipeline “had nothing to do with his personal investments and everything to do with promoting policies that benefit all Americans.”