Oceti Sakowin Camp Impasse: Energy Transfer Partners Plans To Complete DAPL, Water Protectors And Veterans Say They Will Stay As Long As The Pipeline Stays

Fireworks may have lit up the sky above the Oceti Sakowin Camp, which is located on unceded Sioux land near the reservation of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, but Energy Transfer Partners refuses to recognize any defeat. Similarly, the water protectors at the Oceti Sakowin Camp, including veterans who continue to arrive, say that while they are happy that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers refused to grant the easement to Dakota Access Pipeline, they are taking their victory with a grain of salt.

Veterans are at the camp in order to protect the water protectors as they fight against the construction of the pipeline. Though the media is reporting as though the fight is over, some water protectors say that the Administration’s decision not to grant the pipeline their easement came as a direct response to the arrival of the first of the thousands of veterans at the Oceti Sakowin Camp. Many media reports indicate that this means everyone at the camp can go home. On social media, the veterans and water protectors say that the Administration’s announcement doesn’t mean that they are leaving the Oceti Sakowin Camp.

“Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” the Army’s assistant secretary for civil works said in a statement. “The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”

Even though the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has decided not to grant the easement for the final portion of the Dakota Access Pipeline that would go beneath Lake Oahe and across unceded Sioux land, the pipeline still stands committed to building the pipeline without any rerouting.

In a press release published on Business Wire, Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics Partners announced that the Obama Administration’s weekend statement does not alter the intended plans for the pipeline.

“As stated all along, ETP and SXL are fully committed to ensuring that this vital project is brought to completion and fully expect to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around Lake Oahe. Nothing this Administration has done today changes that in any way.”

Energy Transfer Partners’ and Sunoco Logistics Partners’ representatives claim that Dakota Access Pipeline has done nothing but play by the rules. They say that the White House’s announcement is just “further delay.” They say that the White House has committed a series of “overt and transparent political actions” and that the administration “has abandoned the rule of law in favor of currying favor with a narrow and extreme political constituency.” Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics Partners expect to complete the pipeline project fully and they do not intend to reroute the pipeline again.

The Inquisitr reported earlier on Monday that the pipeline might just have to wait several weeks until the Trump Administration takes over.

Geraldine Agard, a 63-year-old Standing Rock Sioux member, says that she still has doubts that the fight to keep the pipeline away from the lake is over. Rocky Littlewind, a 60-year-old Spirit Lake Nation member has the same concerns. He said that the fight wouldn’t be over until the Dakota Access Pipeline equipment was gone from the area.

A spokesman for Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now wrote in a statement that the pro-pipeline organization members are hopeful that the Dakota Access Pipeline construction will be completed as planned with only a temporary delay, according to The Des Moines Register.

Channel 3 News reported that Veterans Stand for Standing Rock organizers predict that 3,000 veterans are still expected to end up at the Oceti Sakowin Camp shortly, despite the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ latest announcement.

It seems that neither side at or near the Oceti Sakowin Camp actually plans on backing down.

[Featured Image by Nesky Hernandez/AP Photo]