Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II was more surprised at the rapidity with which Donald Trump signed presidential memoranda purporting to speed up the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and reinstate the Keystone XL pipeline than he was by the act itself.
“We were prepared for President Trump take a run at everything we have accomplished in the last two years,” Archambault told Tamron Hall on MSNBC on Wednesday January 25, the day after Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum attempting to move DAPL along. “This nation better start bracing itself for what's to come if in the first four days we're witnessing him using an executive order to circumvent federal laws. It's not right, and it's something we better get ready for. I was disappointed that it came this soon, because we had worked so hard for the last two years.”
The tribe wants closer study of the pipeline’s potential effects on water supply, sacred sites and treaty rights, he said, and Trump is trying to do an end run around such statutes as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
“The troubling thing is that this president is circumventing federal law,” Archambault said. “We have Treaty rights, we have water rights with our Winter's Doctrine, we have NEPA.”
Trump’s Presidential memorandum—not an executive order, as was first reported—urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to move ahead with the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) cannot supersede the existing law, but it directs the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to try and expedite the process.
“We're going to continue to look at the validity of this action, and we’re going to continue to talk to anyone that would be wiling to listen to us in the administration,” Archambault said. “We're going to try and get support from Congress, from those who are not fed by the industry. We want to open America's eyes about what's happening here. If EPA is given a gag order and told not to put anything out on media, not to discuss this issue, this is a scary time for America.”
See the full interview below, and watch the entire news story at MSNBC Live With Tamron Hall.