DALLAS – The Latest on the Dakota Access pipeline protest (all times local):
North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple has asked the Army Corps of Engineers to speed up its decision on whether to allow a company to proceed with laying a section of the Dakota Access pipeline under a Missouri River reservoir.
Dalrymple said at a news conference Friday that increasingly frequent protests against the pipeline in and around the state capital, Bismarck, have created “a tremendously challenging, tremendously difficult situation.”
Demonstrators have protested in several locations this week, including at the state capitol building and the state-owned Bank of North Dakota, among others.
Bismarck Mayor Mike Seminary credited residents for being patient with protesters and thanked residents for displaying “North Dakota nice.”
Protesters say the pipeline would threaten the drinking water on a Standing Rock Sioux reservation.
Several celebrities, including the actors Shailene Woodley and Ezra Miller, are meeting with Standing Rock Sioux officials and youth in North Dakota to discuss efforts to halt construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline.
Woodley, who starred in “The Fault in our Stars” and the “Divergent” series, has been to the protest site before. She was arrested last month on charges of trespassing and engaging in a riot.
On Friday, she suggested that people should consider pulling their money out of the banks funding the pipeline and putting it instead in federal credit unions.
Protester Kendrick Eagle says he was part of a group that met with President Barack Obama when the president visited the reservation in June 2014. He says the president promised to stand with the tribe and that he is needed “more than ever” to help in the pipeline fight.
The head of the company building the Dakota Access oil pipeline says the company won’t consider rerouting it to address American Indian concerns.
The $3.8 billion pipeline to carry North Dakota oil to Illinois is largely complete except for a stretch under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota. The Standing Rock Sioux fears a leak could contaminate drinking water on its nearby reservation.
President Barack Obama has raised the possibility of rerouting the pipeline. Kelcy Warren, the CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, told The Associated Press on Friday that the company won’t change the route.
The Army Corps of Engineers has delayed approving the river crossing, calling for more tribal input. ETP has asked a federal judge to declare that it has the right to drill under the river.