Washington state Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell wants President Trump to reverse a decision allowing the controversial 1,200-mile Dakota Access oil pipeline to proceed, saying the administration failed to consult with Indian tribes before making the decision.
Cantwell, the former chairwoman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, wrote a letter to Trump, saying the administration had shown a “blatant disregard for federal law and our country’s treaty and trust responsibilities to Native American tribes.”
She joined eight other members of Congress in signing the letter, including independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
“We strongly oppose this decision and any efforts to undermine tribal rights,” they said in the letter. “We urge you to immediately reverse this decision and follow the appropriate procedures required for tribal consultation, environmental law and due process.”
The letter came after the Army Corps of Engineers said it had completed the review of the pipeline and granted a final easement to allow the project to be completed.
The project has long been opposed by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, whose reservation is near the pipeline’s crossing. Tribal officials fear the project could pollute their water.