The Army Corps of Engineers has officially announced that it will look for an alternate route to the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota.Celebrations from protesters were held over this weekend after the announcement, but some wariness still hovers over their victory. The change of administration next month could repeal the decision, and bring the entire project back to square one."We are asking our supporters to keep up the pressure, because while President Obama has granted us a victory today, that victory isn't guaranteed in the next administration," Dallas Goldtooth said in an official statement. The lead organizer of the Indigenous Environmental Network continued, "More threats are likely in the year to come, and we cannot stop until this pipeline is completely and utterly defeated, and our water and climate are safe."
The corps has stated that they will not issue a permit for the pipe to cross underneath the lake. Instead, they will continue to work with tribal leaders and the public to find an alternate route that does not interfere with the environmental concerns raised by protesters."The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing," Jo-Ellen Darcy, the assistant secretary for the Corps' civil works, stated for the press.Republican leaders lashed out against the decision, including Speaker Paul Ryan, who tweeted out this statement:
This is big-government decision-making at its worst. I look forward to putting this anti-energy presidency behind us. https://t.co/Qu0nFTmGZv
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) December 5, 2016
But despite the backlash, protesters say that they're gearing up for the next fight; this decision from the Corps will only add fuel to their cause. May Boeve, Executive director of 360.org, said this:"If Trump tries to go up against the leaders at Standing Rock he'll just end up looking petty and small. The fight against Dakota Access has fired up a resistance movement that is ready to take on any fossil fuel project the Trump administration tries to approve. On Dakota Access and every other pipeline: If he tries to build it, we will come."