Sanders supporting Standing Rock

SUBHEAD: Sanders is going all-out against the Dakota Access Pipeline, while Clinton is dodging the issue.

By Staff on 14 October 2016 for Grist Magazine -

Image above: native Americans demonstrating against Dakota Access Pipeline From ().

On Thursday, Bernie Sanders and four other senators sent a letter to President Obama asking him to require a full environmental and cultural assessment of the controversial pipeline project, which would carry fracked oil from North Dakota to Illinois.

The letter calls for a halt the pipeline’s construction while the review is carried out, arguing that the project is “a violation of tribal treaty rights” and would “have a significant impact on our climate.” It doesn’t call for an outright rejection of the pipeline, but it does call for a stringent review and approval standards that would make rejection pretty darn likely.

Sanders himself has been calling for a complete rejection of the pipeline for months, starting as far back as January, when he was running for the Democratic nomination — long before pipeline protests made national news. Last month, Sanders gave an anti-pipeline speech to a crowd of protestors.

The Clinton campaign isn’t ready to take a stance on the Dakota Access pipeline.

In an interview with Grist on Wednesday, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta responded with a vague answer when asked about the pipeline, avoiding any specific position for or against.

“I think she believes that stakeholders need to get together at this point,” Podesta said. “It’s important that all voices are heard.”

The proposed pipeline would bring crude oil from the Bakken fields of North Dakota to an Illinois terminal. The Standing Rock Sioux are resisting its construction because it would run close to their reservation, across sacred burial sites of their ancestors and dangerously close to their water supply.

Moreover, they note that the federal government failed to consult with them as required by law.

The Obama administration suspended construction of the pipeline in early September, pending a review.

“The federal government has now convened the parties, including the tribe, to have a discussion on what the next steps forward are,” Podesta said. “It would have been helpful to have that happen sooner than at this point, but it is what it is.”

Donald Trump, for his part, has invested in the company that’s building the pipeline.


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