President Obama said federal officials are considering rerouting the controversial Dakota Access pipeline, the $3.8-billion project that has stirred large protests by Native Americans and violent clashes with law enforcement.
“As a general rule, 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 said Tuesday in an interview the social media start-up NowThis News, referring to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which oversees the permitting process for the pipeline.
“So 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 the first Americans,” he said.
The 1,170-mile pipeline would transport as much as 450,000 barrels of crude oil daily from the Bakken production area of North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to an existing pipeline in Patoka, Ill. It would travel less than a mile north of the Standing Rock Sioux Indian reservation near Cannon Ball, N.D., crossing under Lake Oahe, a dammed section of the Missouri River that provides the tribe’s water supply.
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