The Senators Standing with Standing Rock.

Bernie Sanders (Good Morning America).

Bernie Sanders (Good Morning America).

Former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and four other senators on Thursday called on President Barack Obama to order a comprehensive environmental review of a pipeline project that has stirred widespread opposition from Native Americans and environmental activists.

After a U.S. appeals court on Sunday night denied a request to halt construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the senators asked Obama to direct the Army Corps of Engineers to complete a full environmental impact statement for a contested part of the route that includes stronger tribal consultation.

“The project’s current permits should be suspended and all construction stopped until a complete environmental and cultural review has been completed for the entire project,” said the letter by Sanders and Democratic Senators Dianne Feinstein, Ed Markey, Patrick Leahy and Benjamin Cardin.

In recent weeks, protests against the Dakota Access pipeline led by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in North Dakota drew international attention, prompting the U.S. government to temporarily block its construction on federal land.


On Tuesday, anti-pipeline activists in four states closed pipeline valves to halt the flow of crude through arteries transporting 15 percent of U.S. oil consumption..

When fully connected, the 1,100-mile (1,770 km) pipeline would be the first to carry crude directly to the U.S. Gulf from the Bakken shale, a vast oil formation in North Dakota, Montana and parts of Canada.

The $3.7 billion project is being built by the Dakota Access subsidiary of Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners LP, which has vowed to complete construction.

“There must be a serious consideration of the full potential climate impacts of this pipeline prior to the Army Corps of Engineers approving any permits or easements for the Dakota Access pipeline,” the senators said.

Experts say that the full environmental review requested by the senators could take several months.

The U.S. appeal court’s ruling was the second time the federal judiciary rejected the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s request to halt construction of the pipeline. On Sept. 9, a U.S. judge rejected a similar request.

Oh, so scrutiny would take a couple of months, golly, the agony for those poor, poor billionaires. Cry me a river, oil wašichu, cry me a river of clean, untainted water. Once again, we see just how much, and how easily Indigenous concerns are brushed aside, and treaties broken, again. And again. And again. My thanks to Senators Sanders, Feinstein, Markey, Leahy, and Cardin. Please, please keep the pressure on. I think everyone should remind the President of his visit to Standing Rock two years ago. How can it possibly be, in any way, to turn away from people who keep asking for justice? How long for people to wake the fuck up to all the lies, all the crimes committed by DA and Energy Transfer Partners? Remember when they swore up and down that the oil running through this travesty of a pipeline was “sweet and light”? The only people pointing out that that was a lie were Indigenous people who live in the Dakotas. I posted about that, and heard arguments and “oh no, you’re wrong.” No, we aren’t wrong. Oil lies, and it would be great if people would wake up to that fact, and stay woke. This is a disaster waiting to happen, to all of us.

Via Raw Story.


  1. rq says

    I kind of like the sound of “wigli wašiču”. Like little black worms squirming around for that extra million at everyone else’s expense. It’s a phrase probably grammatically incorrect, though. :)
    I’m glad someone in the Senate is finally paying a little bit of attention; sadly, though, I think Obama has had plenty of chances to do something already, and I don’t hold out much hope for any actual action from him on this point.

  2. says

    Sapa means black, so wašichu wiglisapa, is basically white people of black oil.

    Yeah, I’m not holding out any hope for action from Obama, either. He’s done some really great stuff for indigenous peoples, but this one thing? No.

  3. says

    About time they open their mouth.
    Now, what I want from all these prominent people is to not only open their mouths but also use their connections (pretty sure people like Di Caprio know lots of Congresspeople. For sure they know other celebrities.) and open their wallets. They won’t notice 20 k less on their accounts but I’m pretty sure Standing Rock will notice 20 k more.

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