Obama Says Army Considering ‘Ways to Reroute’ the Dakota Access Pipeline

Obama Weighing Dakota Pipeline Options

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are considering “ways to reroute” the Dakota Access Pipeline away from sacred lands. Obama didn’t say whether or not his administration would directly intervene in the pipeline’s construction, though he did indicate he has been watching the issue closely. “As a general rule,” he told NowThis, “my view is that there is a way for us to accommodate sacred lands of Native Americans.”

He also said he’d let the situation play out for “several more weeks” before his administration makes any decisions:

“We’re going to let it play out for several more weeks and determine whether or not this can be resolved in a way that I think is properly attentive to the traditions of the first Americans.”

The statement comes two months after the Obama Administration temporarily halted construction on the much-maligned building project, which has attracted strong protest from local Native Americans and activists who say the pipeline will endanger the water supply of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

“The Army will move expeditiously to make this determination,” reads part of a statement by the Army and Department of Justice.

“Everyone involved — including the pipeline company and its workers — deserves a clear and timely resolution. In the interim, we request that the pipeline company voluntarily pause all construction activity within 20 miles east or west of Lake Oahe.”

Despite promises of reassessment, violent clashes between protesters and police continue. When asked about the tactics being used by militarized police against protesters, which includes bean bags, attack dogs, and tear gas, Obama said those on both sides of the conflict must show restraint. “There’s an obligation for protesters to be peaceful,” he said, “and there’s an obligation for authorities to show restraint.”

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Timothy Bertrand is an author and journalist from Houston, Texas. He is the Associate Editor at Reverb Press and splits his time between covering breaking news and penning thoughtful literary essays.