Washington, DC – U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) issued the following statement after the Army Corps of Engineers announced that it would not grant an easement for construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline under Lake Oahe in North Dakota and would instead explore alternative routes for the pipeline crossing:
“I’m grateful that the Army Corps of Engineers has listened to the growing chorus of concern echoing across the country about the Dakota Access Pipeline. Exploring alternative routes for this project that are sensitive to both the environment and the voices of Native Americans whose sacred lands were being threatened is absolutely the right path forward. Moving forward I will continue monitoring the Army Corps’ handling of this project.”
Sen. Booker, a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, whose jurisdiction includes oversight of the Army Corps of Engineers, has sought information over the past week related to the feasibility of alternative routes to the pipeline.
Also, last month, in response to conflicting reports by law enforcement, protestors, and the media regarding the response to protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline, Sen. Booker urged the Department of Justice to investigate credible reports of inappropriate police tactics there and to deploy federal monitors in an effort to ensure that the protestors could peacefully assemble and exercise their First Amendment rights. On Friday, Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced that she was dispatching federal mediators to ensure the ongoing standoff between protesters and police over the pipeline did not erupt into further violence.