Wednesday, November 02, 2016

President says Army Corps of Engineers considering alternate route for Dakota Access Pipeline

President Obama said Tuesday that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is considering an alternate route for the Dakota Access Pipeline that would avoid crossing the Missouri River near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

“My view is that there is a way for us to accommodate sacred lands of Native Americans. And I think that right now the Army Corps is examining whether there are ways to reroute this pipeline,” Obama told Now This, a New York-based news outlet designed for video on mobile devices. “We’re going to let it play out for several more weeks and determine whether or not this can be resolved in a way that I think is properly attentive to the traditions of First Americans.”

Obama's comments came after "after a week of violent clashes between authorities and activists protesting the controversial project," Derek Hawkins reports for The Washington Post. "Obama’s interview represents the most explicit remarks he has made on the simmering controversy. During a White House tribal conference in September the president offered an elliptical reference to the issue, telling hundreds of tribal represented gathered in Washington, 'I know that many of you have come together across tribes and across the country to support the community at Standing Rock. And together, you’re making your voices heard.'"

Hawkins notes, "The president has elevated American Indian rights during his tenure, establishing a White House tribal liaison and laying the groundwork for a government-to-government relationship with native Hawaiians." Obama was born in Hawaii.

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