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  • An opponent of the Dakota Access oil pipeline is seen through concertina wire while snowmobiling toward the protest camp near Cannon Ball.

    An opponent of the Dakota Access oil pipeline is seen through concertina wire while snowmobiling toward the protest camp near Cannon Ball. | Photo: Reuters

Published 31 January 2017

The acting secretary of the U.S. Army told federal officials to issue the easement needed to complete the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline.

The acting secretary of the U.S. Army has instructed the Army Corps of Engineers to issue the easement necessary to complete the Dakota Access pipeline, North Dakota Senator John Hoeven said Tuesday night in a statement a week after President Donald Trump signed an executive order reviving the construction of the controversial oil project.

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“The Acting Secretary of the Army Robert Speer informed us that he has directed the Army Corps of Engineers to proceed with the easement needed to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline,” Hoeven said in a Tuesday night statement according to The Hill.

“This will enable the company to complete the project, which can and will be built with the necessary safety features to protect the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and others downstream.”

The statement did not indicate whether or not the easement has been already issued which would allow Energy Transfer Partners to resume the construction of the pipeline. Last week, Trump signed two executive orders reviving both the Dakota Access and the Keystone pipelines.

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The Dakota Access pipeline was stopped by the administration of Barack Obama last month following months of protests by the Native American tribe in the area and water protectors who argued that it was being built on sacred lands and could damage their water source.

Obama also rejected the Keystone pipeline in 2015 over environmental and economic concerns.

Shortly after Trump’s order, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said his move to revive the construction of the oil project was meant as political payback to the billionaires benefiting from the project who supported his bid for the presidency.

The action against the US$3.8-billion pipeline has attracted more than 300 Native American tribes from across the United States in a show of unity that is being called historic.

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