Ruppersberger Issues Statement on Dakota Access Pipeline and Treatment of Protestors

(Washington, DC) — Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger today issued the following statement regarding the treatment of protesters and the controversy over the Dakota Access Pipeline:

“Peaceful protest is a vital part of our Constitutional rights, and the reports of intimidation and injuries to unarmed protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline are alarming. Army Corps of Engineers leaders have said they will not engage in forcible removal of protestors and I urge them to honor this commitment and take steps necessary to ensure protestors can continue to exercise their rights.

After 17 years of experience in local government, I know that public involvement and transparency are critical to the success of any development project. In addition to environmental concerns associated with this project, any potential threat to sacred Native American land and cultural sites must be taken seriously.

Army Corps officials earlier this month said additional analysis and consultation with the Standing Rock Sioux are warranted and that they will withhold a final permit while they engage further with the tribe. This is the right course of action. Construction should not begin until all of the tribe’s legitimate concerns are adequately addressed.”