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Erich Pica, Chair of Friends of the Earth US, rejected on Tuesday Donald Trump´s decision to restart the Dakota Access pipeline, already under construction, but suspended by the previous administration led by Barack Obama. Pica stated that they will carry out a campaign to pressure banks supporting the project.
The activist also expressed FoE US´s solidarity with indigenous communities rejecting the pipeline (which starts its route in North Dakota). The Sioux Tribe of the Standing Rock reservation, which has led the resistance and mobilized thousands of people, has announced it will bring the case to legal authorities.
Meanwhile, the city councils of two cities in the US already announced that they will cut ties with one of the banks that is investing in the pipeline.
On Tuesday, the Army Corps of Engineers indicated that it will greenlight the Dakota Access pipeline, after president Trump signed in January two executive orders that authorized to move forward with this pipeline and another equally controversial, the Keystone XL pipeline.
Obama had suspended both projects in response to the arguments by the indigenous peoples and the needs of the country to show itself as a leader in the fight against climate change.
The Dakota Access pipeline, with Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) as majority owner and with the funds of a consortium made up by approximately 20 banks, is planned to cross four States, starting in North Dakota and travelling through South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois. It would transport 470,000 oil barrels per day.
"Trump’s reversal of the previous commitment to conduct an Environmental Impact Statement on the Dakota Access Pipeline is as sickening as it is predictable", stated Pica according to a press release issued by Friends of the Earth US.
"The Standing Rock Sioux and Indigenous American peoples who have fought for their sacred tribal land and water rights deserve human dignity and a healthy future. We stand behind them in the #NoDAPL fight and will put financial pressure on the banks financing this destructive pipeline project. The people’s resistance to keep fossil fuels in the ground will not disappear", added Pica.
The Standing Rock Sioux tribe fear that the pipeline will pollute their water sources and destroy their sacred places. Their struggle has even faced the use of violence by private security services of the companies that are part of the project and the US National Guard.
In the past few hours, the city councils of Seattle (Washington State) and Davis (California State) voted in favor of cutting their ties with Wells Fargo, one of the largest banks in the US, due to their involvement as investors in the Dakota Access project. That´s why they vowed to withdraw their funds from the financial entity.
Meanwhile, Dutch bank Abn Amro, has announced that it will end its financial relationship with Energy Transfer Equity, ETP´s parent company, if the Dakota Access pipeline is built without the consent of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe or if violence is continued to be used to move forward with the project.
José Luis Abarca, hijo de un luchador ambiental asesinado en noviembre de 2009 por encabezar la resistencia a un proyecto minero en el municipio mexicano de Chicomuselo, estado de Chiapas, interpuso el 5 de febrero una denuncia administrativa ante el Comisionado para la Integridad de la Administración Pública de Canadá.
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