Opponents of the Dakota Access pipeline are planning protests Tuesday in dozens of cities in the U.S. and Europe, as observers await an decision by the Obama administration over the pipeline’s fate.
Observers expect the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to approve or reject the pipeline’s construction soon. The Obama administration put construction of the pipeline on hold in September, as it reviewed complaints over a portion that runs under the Missouri River.
A group of organizations opposed to the pipeline have planned a series of protests in every U.S. state, plus more than 20 in Europe, two in Australia, one in New Zealand, and one in India.
Supporters, meanwhile, have urged the administration to quickly approve the pipeline. The Army Corps did briefly approve the project before asking the company behind the pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, to halt construction while officials reviewed the decision. The pipeline’s backers have called that decision arbitrary.
“We understand that there are the strong emotions on both sides of the DAPL issue and certainly respect the rights of all citizens to be heard in this important policy discussion,” said Craig Stevens, spokesman for the Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now, in a statement on Monday. “However, while we support and defend the tenets of the Constitution’s First Amendment, we also respect the tenets of the rest of the Constitution and our nation’s laws.”
President Obama said before the election that the Army Corps was looking into options to re-route the pipeline around the area where the Standing Rock Sioux oppose its construction for water-safety and historical reasons.
Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren told CBS News he is “100 percent” confident President-elect Donald Trump will support the pipeline. Warren contributed to Trump’s campaign, and Trump has between $500,000 and $1 million invested in the company, according to his financial disclosure with the Federal Election Commission.