From Fox News, the US Army Corps of Engineers has done an about face on the Route for the Dakota Access pipeline, and after approving it once, has decided to “study” the route some more:
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Sunday that it won’t grant an easement for the Dakota Access oil pipeline in southern North Dakota, handing a victory to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its supporters, who argued the project would threaten the tribe’s water source and cultural sites.
The four-state, $3.8 billion project is largely complete except for the now-blocked segment underneath Lake Oahe, a Missouri River reservoir. Assistant Secretary for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy said in a news release that her decision was based on the need to “explore alternate routes” for the pipeline’s crossing. Her full decision doesn’t rule out that it could cross under the reservoir or north of Bismarck.
“Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” Darcy said. “The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”
I didn’t realize it until it was pointed out to me, but we’ve all heard the name of Jo-Ellen Darcy, the woman who announced the decision, before. In fact, many South Dakotans should be very familiar with her.
She’s the Obama appointee who was in charge when the Army Corps of Engineers flooded our state:
Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., asserted that the corps “needs to be held accountable” for miscalulations that led to a “debacle.”
Corps officials reiterated that they could not possibly have envisioned the freakish rains in the western reaches of the basin last spring that eventually led to dam releases more than double of any previously.
Jo-Ellen Darcy, the Army’s assistant secretary for civil works, deflected senators’ questions about revising the master manual. The last such revision, she noted, took 14 years and cost taxpayers $33 million.
“The public process needs to be involved in any changes to it,” she said, meaning months of hearings along the river that lead to layers of bureaucratic review and, more than likely, court rulings.
An independent review of corps decisions is underway, she added.
“The public process needs to be involved in any changes to it.” So, what happened to that mantra?
Apparently that was good enough for the master manual. And that’s what they did when they approved the Dakota Access pipeline. But, when people start lobbing IED’s at police after rigging propane bottles to explode, the previous public process gets thrown out the window for political purposes.
Good God. At least the Inauguration of Donald Trump is approaching. And we can look forward to a housecleaning.