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On January 24th, President Trump signed a memorandum calling upon the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to expedite approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline. FCNL opposes this action and stands with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

We the interfaith community express deep concern over the Administration’s memorandum calling for the expedited approval of Energy Transfer Partner’s request to complete construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Such an action completely disregards the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ finding that to comply with current laws – including tribal treaty rights – a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and consideration of route alternatives is required.

We support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other tribal nations along the Missouri River who have raised grave concerns about the federal government’s lack of adequate consultation, the desecration of their sacred lands, and the pipeline’s threats to their water supply and the water supply for millions of others. The memorandum seeks to circumvent these concerns.

We oppose that intent, and urge that the Army Corps’ denial of the easement and its Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement be advanced, and neither rescinded, modified, nor withdrawn. We urge the Administration to adhere to these and other processes in recognition of tribal sovereignty, the federal government’s trust responsibility to tribes, and the protection of tribal lands, waters, and culture.

Our nation’s past and present are all too replete with events and decisions that have caused grievous harm to tribal nations and peoples. In this case, much of the land and water at the focal point of the DAPL dispute was taken from the Lakota tribes through the federal government’s abrogation of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 – an abrogation recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court. Lake Oahe exists only because the Army Corps built a dam on the Missouri River in the 1950s without consent of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other affected tribes. The land dislocated tribal members and flooded lands rich in natural resources, agriculture, and sacred sites. The current memorandum’s intent, if carried out, would add yet another chapter in our nation’s history of injustice to tribal nations and people.

We are called to love thy neighbor, especially neighbors who are subject to systemic injustices, and to till and keep God’s Creation. (Genesis 2:15). We stand with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other affected nations to affirm their sovereign rights to protect their lands, waters and culture, and prevent the continuation of unjust acts. We oppose the executive memorandum, and urge the Administration to engage in a full environmental impact statement to ensure that our nation’s history of dishonor to tribal nations and peoples ceases, and a new era of mutual respect begins.

Creation Justice Ministries
Christian Reformed Church in North America, Office of Social Justice
Disciples Center for Public Witness (Disciples of Christ)
Franciscan Action Network
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Interfaith Power & Light
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office
Pax Christi USA
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Quaker Earthcare Witness
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas’ Institute Justice Team
Unitarian Universalist Association
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
The United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society

Jose Aguto

Jose Aguto

Former Legislative Secretary, Sustainable Energy and Environment

Jose Aguto advocated for national policies supporting the sustainable use and management of our Earth’s resources and ecosystems so that all may thrive. He lead the Sustainable Energy and Environment Program, which leads interfaith, non-partisan, grassroots and multi-sectoral efforts on climate disruption to promote bipartisan dialogue and solutions in Congress. It also seeks to facilitate stronger relationships and collaboration across different sectors of the climate movement.