DALLASS - Protestors in North Dakota and in Dallas are claiming victory after an order to halt work on the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The nearly four-billion-dollar project is the work of Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners. The U.S. Corp of Engineers put the brakes on a key section of the pipeline that some say threatens the water supply of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.
The group that’s kept up the Dallas presence in the matter made it clear they are pleased with the decision and point out why they believe it’s not simply a matter affecting Native Americans.
The Society of Native Nations gathered on Monday outside the Dallas Federal Building. Some members carried signs like they had during their protests. The group said it’s celebrating the decision to deny a permit for a key section of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The pipeline is a 1,200-mile long project of Dallas billionaire Kelcy Warren. Its intent is to carry oil to a shipping point in Illinois.
The group staunchly supports protesters in North Dakota who say they’re camped out and protecting their sacred land and the water supply of the reservation and millions of others downstream.
“I firmly believe that is just a spec of what our future holds if we continue to allow these pipelines to cross through our waterways, over them, under them, near them,” said Yolanda Blue Horse with the Society of Native Nations.
"It stops progress as it is right now,” explained the organization’s attorney, Eric Reed. “The company can break the law, but there are consequences to the Corp of Engineers’ order."
The group says the issue is about the right to protect clean water for every American. It also says the protestors in North Dakota have been mistreated by law enforcement, saying they've been subjected to violence and had their first amendment rights violated.
The group also responded to questions about the possibility of President-Elect Donald Trump’s administration overturning the order. They say they do not have an immediate concern since an extensive environmental study would have to take place before such a process could even begin.