Protesters are celebrating what Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II calls "a win for all of America" after the Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for the controversial pipeline. The Dakota Access Pipeline runs from Bakken oil fields in North Dakota and goes all the way to Patoka, Illinois.
It has become controversial after thousands of protesters argued against the construction, citing its impact not only on the environment but culture as well. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, whose reservation is near the planned pipeline construction has said that of the pipeline will be built it will not only affect their sacred tribal rites but their drinking water as well.
Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II gave a statement to NBC news expressing his appreciation "that there were some leaders in the federal government that realized that something is not right even though it's legal." He says this blessing for the indigenous people will surely go down in history.
Jo-Ellen Darcy, the assistant secretary for Army Corps civil works has stated that after discussion with the Standing Rock and Dakota Access, the best action is to explore alternate routes. But the company who spearheads the project, Energy Transfer Partners, has stated that the decision to deny was purely political.
"The White House's directive today to the Corps for further delay is just the latest in a series of overt and transparent political actions by an administration which has abandoned the rule of law in favor of currying favor with a narrow and extreme political constituency," it said in a statement.
The victory meant that the protesters no longer had to stay at the camp, especially with the coming harsh winter in North Dakota. "It's time now that we move forward," Mr. Archambault said. "We don't have to stand and endure this hard winter. We can spend the winter with our families."
But the New York Times reports that there are still campers who refuse to leave the Oceti Sakowin campsite. Part of the reason for their refusal to leave is the uncertainty that the decision might be overturned, especially when a new administration will be inaugurated this coming January.
Miles Allard, who is a member of Standing Rock Sioux, stated that they have no idea what President-elect Trump will decide once he takes office. NBC Washington reports that Trump has actually invested in Energy Transfer Partners and another company involved in the building of the pipeline. While Trump has not outright stated that he was going to allow the construction to continue, supporters are afraid that he would do so.
Meanwhile, leaders in North Dakota are not happy with the Army Corps decision saying the halt to the infrastructure would show a bleak future in the infrastructure in the United States.