As Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) protesters head back to court on Wednesday, U.S. presidential candidates’ positions on the project (or lack thereof) are being thrust into the spotlight.
The three-judge panel at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is being asked to keep in place a temporary halt to construction while the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe appeals a lower-court ruling from September. The hearing was scheduled to begin at 9:30am Eastern, and Native News Online reports that it “may ultimately decide if the pipeline project moves forward.”
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“The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe will not back down from this fight,” said Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault II, who will speak in D.C. following the hearing. “We are guided by prayer, and we will continue to fight for our people. We will not rest until our lands, people, waters and sacred sites are permanently protected from this destructive pipeline.”
Meanwhile, Indigenous and environmental activists are looking to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for a sign of where she stands on the controversial project. Clinton has yet to state publicly whether or not she supports the four-state, $3.8 billion pipeline—despite longstanding calls for her to do so.
“We definitely need Secretary Clinton to make a statement on it,” Bold Alliance president Jane Kleeb told The Hill on Wednesday. “We don’t know where she stands, and we don’t know where she stands on the general build-out of pipelines.”
Though The Hill noted that Clinton’s reticence may have to do with the labor movement’s divided stance on this and other fossil fuel projects, May Boeve of 350 Action pointed out that she could reach other critical demographics by coming out strongly against DAPL.
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