Obama's Denial of Easement Violates the Rule of Law

WASHINGTON -- Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement in response to the Army Corps of Engineers’ announcement that the Obama administration will refuse to grant an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline project:

“The Obama administration’s refusal to issue an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline violates the rule of law and fails to resolve the issue. Instead, it passes the decision off to the next administration, which has already indicated it will approve the easement, and in the meantime perpetuates a difficult situation for North Dakotans.

“Protesters should move from their unlawful site now that the Obama administration has made its decision. By staying on the site, the protesters subject residents in the area to additional weeks of disruption and hardship.

“The reality is that the company has observed all proper procedures and met all environmental standards required by four states and the Corps itself. Further, refusing the easement has ramifications over the long term; if companies and individuals cannot rely on a system that follows the rule of law, nobody will risk making future investments in our country’s vital infrastructure. That will make our nation vulnerable and less secure.

“Our state, local and federal law enforcement officials have acted with professionalism and diligence to maintain peace and order under very difficult circumstances, but their resources are strained and they need help. Following today’s announcement by the Corps, it is incumbent on the administration to provide funding and law enforcement resources to help maintain public safety.”