Before the GOP’s president Donald Trump signed the order to resume building the Dakota Access Pipeline, he had to suppress this legal document.
Two days before the Trump administration approved an easement for the Dakota Access pipeline to cross a reservoir near the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation, the U.S. Department of the Interior withdrew a legal opinion that concluded there was “ample legal justification” to deny it.
The withdrawal of the opinion was revealed in court documents filed this week by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the same agency that requested the review late last year.
The scathing 35-page memo cites DAPL’s environmental risks and the treaty rights of the Standing Rock Sioux and other Native American tribes reasons why U.S. Army Corps of Engineers “is accordingly justified should it choose to deny the proposed easement.”
But of course, this legal document was written on Dec. 4 by Interior Department Solicitor Hilary Tompkins. Since Barack Obama had appointed her, Donald Trump felt free to trash it.
Jan Hasselman, an attorney for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe declared:
“A pattern is emerging with [the Trump] administration. They take good, thoughtful work and then just throw it in the trash and do whatever they want to do.”
Although the White House somehow persuaded Hilary Tompkins to withdraw the memo, Hasselman says there are no take-backsies.
“Agencies can’t simply disregard their own findings, and ‘withdrawing’ the Tompkins memo doesn’t change that. We have challenged the legality of the Trump administration reversal and we think we have a strong case.”
This fight isn’t over. The Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes declare this “baldly illegal” and filing a challenge in court.
E&E News, a news site focused on energy and the environment, claims the White House may even erase the memo.
An overlooked memo from the Interior Department’s top lawyer could play a critical role in the fate of the Dakota Access pipeline, and the Trump administration is considering erasing it.
Luckily for us, they got a copy, which we’ve shared below.
This goes to show that the GOP’s President Donald Trump, the Republican Party, Energy Transfer Partners, and others hoping to profit from the Dakota Access Pipeline don’t give a damn about our nation’s citizens and will stop at nothing to get what they want.
Watch: Donald Trump signs an executive order to green light the Dakota Access Pipeline.
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