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Celebrities, activists urge Biden to shut down Dakota Access pipeline

The letter, signed by more than 200 people including Indigenous leaders and activists and celebrities, calls on the administration to stop DAPL during a court-ordered environmental review of its effects on land near the Standing Rock Reservation.

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Protests over the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline grabbed the world's attention in late 2016. File photo / Forum News Service
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BISMARCK — Aaron Rodgers. Jane Fonda. Don Cheadle. Kerry Washington. Dave Matthews. Robert Downey Jr.

What do these people have in common? They all are calling on President Joe Biden to shut down the Dakota Access pipeline.

In a letter released Monday, Feb. 8, more than 200 climate activists, Indigenous leaders and celebrities urged the Biden administration to shut down the Dakota Access pipeline during a court-ordered environmental review of its effects on the land near the Standing Rock Reservation.

On Wednesday, Feb. 10, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will appear in court and decide whether the pipeline can continue to operate while the environmental review is in progress.

Last month, Biden revoked the construction permit for the Keystone XL pipeline , a project given the go-ahead by former President Donald Trump. The coalition of people calling for DAPL's shutdown are hoping Biden will act in a similar fashion.

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"As your Administration takes action to address the climate crisis and strengthen relationships with Indigenous communities, we respectfully urge you to reverse another harmful Trump Administration decision and immediately shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) during its court-ordered environmental review," the letter states.

DAPL is located on land with cultural significance for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and the risk of an oil spill could compromise the tribal nation's water supply, the tribal nation says.

Some of the celebrities who signed the letter include several cast members of "The Avengers," as well as Leonardo DiCaprio, Shailene Woodley, Sarah Silverman, Josh Gad and Jason Momoa, among others.

The list also includes multiple climate change organizations like the Indigenous Environmental Network, Natural Resources Defense Council and IllumiNative.

The letter was released in advance of a 93-mile run that will occur on the Standing Rock Reservation on Tuesday, Feb. 9, in an effort to bring nationwide attention to the issue and put pressure on the Biden administration.

"With your leadership, we have a momentous opportunity to protect our water and respect our environmental laws and the rights of Indigenous people. This is our moment," the letter states.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Michelle Griffith, a Report for America corps member, at mgriffith@forumcomm.com.

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Letter to Biden/Harris to Shutdown DAPL by inforumdocs on Scribd

Michelle (she/her, English speaker) is a Bismarck-based journalist for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and Report for America, a national service organization that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered topics and communities.
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