The chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux says the decision by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deny an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline is a ''huge win,'' and urges protesters to go home for the winter. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION). STORY: Thousands of protesters in North Dakota celebrated the federal government's ruling against a controversial pipeline project but girded for a protracted struggle as president-elect Donald Trump's transition team said on Monday (December 05) it supports the project and would review it after he takes office. Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II, in an interview with Reuters on Monday (December 5), called it a "huge win", and urged the demonstrators to go home. "Mission has been accomplished. We built awareness. A decision has been rendered. It's time to remove the roadblocks. It's time for everyone to go home and be safe." Archambault gave the interview after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it had rejected an application for the pipeline to tunnel under Lake Oahe, a reservoir formed by a dam on the Missouri River. However, the company building the pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, said late on Sunday that it had no plans to reroute the line, and expected to complete the project. On Monday, President-elect Donald Trump's transition team said it supports the project and would review it after he takes office. Despite those announcements, Archambault called on the non-Sioux protesters to leave, saying it was "time to move on." "Regardless of the incoming President, regardless of the company saying they're going to move forward, it's not going to happen this winter," he said. "So it's ok for everybody to be cautious and fearful, but they have to understand and realize that it's safe and it's time to move on. We don't need to create unsafe environments that are unnecessary." He also offered to meet with Trump to try to persuade him to block the project. "You know I think it's an opportune time to sit down and try to open lines of communication to help him understand that the decision was rendered by the Corps of Engineers was the right decision. So, before he tries to attempt any action like that, he should really sit down with us and try to learn the issue. It's not just about money; it's about people's lives. I'm open and welcoming a discussion with the President," he said. Native Americans and activists protesting the project have argued that the 1,172-mile (1,885-km) Dakota Access Pipeline would damage sacred lands and could contaminate the tribe's water source. The pipeline is complete except for a 1-mile (1.61 km) segment that was to run under Lake Oahe, which required permission from federal authorities. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it would analyze possible alternate routes, but any other route is likely to cross the Missouri River. =================== Protest leader: "Mission...accomplished" at North Dakota pipeline The chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux says the decision by the Corps of Engineers to deny an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline is a "huge win," and urges protesters to go home for the winter. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).