SEATTLE, Wash. -- The debate over a major pipeline in the middle of the country took center stage in Seattle Friday. About 300 people gathered to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline. If finished, it would transport crude oil from North Dakota through South Dakota into Iowa and Illinois.
Right now, the Obama Administration has placed the project on hold. The federal government will not grant a permit for a critical portion of the project to continue until further “extensive review.”
Friday morning, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray who is against the Dakota Access Pipeline signed a resolution today. It basically says the city recognizes the treaty agreements with some Indian Nations, and it supports respecting tribal lands and cultures.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe members say they’re not protesting the pipeline but instead are protecting their sacred lands and the water supply.
“It’s going to cross a number of bodies of water and is directly in the path of a number of our sacred cultural and burial sites,” said Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Member Matt Remly.
Matt Remly urged the Seattle City Council to act.
“Just because we’re not going to a place with four walls and a roof like a church synagogue or temple to pray, these are our places to pray,” said Remly.
City Council and Blackfeet Nation member Debora Juarez pushed the agenda forward.
“This has real consequences in Indian country,” said Juarez.
Last Friday, President Obama issued a temporary suspension on the construction of the pipeline.
National union group, AFL-CIO released this statement in response saying, in part, “Pipelines are less costly, more reliable and less energy intensive than other forms of transporting fuels, and pipeline construction and maintenance provides quality jobs to tens of thousands of skilled workers.”
“The electric cars that we announced and the further electrification of our fleet that’s the future of this country. That’s where progress lies not with fossil fuels,” said Murray.
The future of the Dakota Access Pipeline remains in the hands of the federal government and the court system as the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe sues the US Army Corps of Engineers and the pipeline developer suing the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The Dakota Access says another delay could cost 8,000 jobs and $430 million.