Chairman Mark Fox of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara (MHA) Nation last week signed a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requesting a single tribe consultation with the Corps in regard to the continuity of operations of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), which transports more than half of the oil produced on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota to an energy hub in Southern Illinois. The letter comes as the Corps is collecting information as part of its ongoing environmental review.
Expressing concern over a potential shut down, the chairman explained that MHA Nation’s “interests as an oil and gas producing Tribe are unique among other Tribes in our region,” and that they “insist on a one-on-one consultation before any action is taken that would adversely impact the market value of our oil and gas resources…” The Affiliated Tribes’ action provides an important perspective on the potential consequences to the Tribes should DAPL be shuttered.
The following statement can be attributed to me, Craig Stevens, spokesman for the GAIN Coalition:
“The GAIN Coalition recognizes and appreciates the critical role in our nation’s economic and energy security the Affiliated Tribes and the Dakota Access Pipeline play by safely developing and transporting Bakken crude. Oil and gas production plays a crucial role in the MHA Nation’s economy, creating well-paying jobs and providing millions of dollars in revenue for education, healthcare, infrastructure, and other public services.
“Shuttering DAPL, even temporarily, could have a devastating economic impact to both the tribe and the broader U.S. economy, and risks increasing reliance on foreign sources of energy – which just this past week was imperiled by the barge stuck in the Suez Canal.
“DAPL has safely operated for nearly four years, after its developers worked closely with state and federal regulators to meet all permitting requirements and consulted hundreds of times with Native leaders and local officials.”