NewsTarget reported that tribal officials said bulldozers were used to “brazenly … destroy our burial sites, prayer sites and culturally significant artifacts,” even as the tribe sought a court injunction to halt the development.
“The desecration of these ancient places has already caused the Standing Rock Sioux irreparable harm. We’re asking the court to halt this path of destruction,” tribal chairman David Archambault II said in a statement in mid-September.
Violence over pipeline construction
Tribal members and activists made national headlines in September after crashing through fences surrounding the $3.8 billion project and confronting security guards, some of whom unleashed guard dogs on protestors. Some reports at the time claimed that protestors were hurling rocks at security guards and were striking dogs with wooden sticks.
A federal judge had denied the tribe’s request to halt construction of the site, but the Washington Times reported that the Obama administration “took the drastic step” of overruling the judge and temporarily stopping construction.
Environmentalists worried about the pipeline note that Sunoco Logistics spills crude more often than any of its competitors, having experienced more than 200 leaks since 2010, Fortune reported, citing a Reuters analysis of government data.
It’s not clear what the final result will be, however. Powerful oil company interests are driving the construction of the pipeline, which is expected to carry crude to Texas and Louisiana for refining into gasoline and other oil-based fuels and products.