Local activists fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline were disappointed by news Tuesday that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will grant an easement to enable completion of the pipeline.
Punishing Wells Fargo Bank for its role as a lender to the Dakota Access Pipeline felt more important than ever to activists gathered Tuesday at Seattle City Hall for a hearing on a bill to sever the city’s relationship with the bank.
Just before the hearing began, it was announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would be approving an easement under a Missouri River reservoir to enable completion of the 1,200-mile oil pipeline.
“It’s obviously a disappointment,” said Muckleshoot tribal member Rachel Heaton. But potential city action against Wells Fargo, she said, “balances it out.”
Local action against fossil-fuel development is more important than ever, she said.
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“We need to bring this fight home. It isn’t just Standing Rock. It’s oil trains and coal trains and now … approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline,” she said, referring to a Canadian pipeline from Alberta to Burnaby, B.C., that would transport tar-sands oil for export.
Matt Remle of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe said he felt the timing of the action on the Seattle City Council bill to sever ties with Wells Fargo “is perfect … It shows people this is one way we can respond. I hope it spreads to cities everywhere.”
“We can’t all be on the front lines in North Dakota,” Nikkita Oliver, another pipeline opponent, added. “But we can take action where we are.”