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Column: Standing Rock opposed pipeline as early as 2014, new tape reveals

Signs left by protesters demonstrating against the Energy Transfer Partners Dakota Access oil pipeline sit at the gate of a construction access road where construction has been stopped for several weeks due to the protests near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S. September 6, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen

The most consistent argument made by North Dakota regulators and the owners of the Dakota Access Pipeline against the protest actions of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their allies is that the Tribe entered the pipeline approval process too late.  They should have made their feelings known earlier in the process.

In mid-November, just a couple weeks ago, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) CEO Kelcy Warren told reporters “I really wish, for the Standing Rock Sioux, that they had engaged in discussions way before they did. I don’t think we would have been having this discussion if they did. We could have changed the route. It could have been done, but it’s too late.”

A recently released tape recording of a meeting between the Standing Rock Tribal Council and ETP representatives reveals the Tribe went on record opposed to the pipeline crossing as early as 2012, and told the company, unequivocally, in September of 2014, more than two years ago, that they opposed the pipeline’s proposed crossing of the Missouri River near their reservation boundary.

Continue reading and listen to the audio on The Prairie Blog.