To: Ben Ray Luján, U.S. House of Representatives and Michelle Lujan Grisham, U.S. House of Representatives
Stand with the Water Protectors of Standing Rock
We, the undersigned voters of New Mexico, urge you to join the 19 members of congress who have signed onto the letter to President Obama urging him to rescind federal permits for the controversial $3.7 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline and embark on a new environmental review of the project.
As Rep. Raúl Grijalva of Arizona, the top Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, and other courageous congress people have said, the administration needs to go further than simply pausing construction on a portion of the line to require a new, more thorough environmental review of the full 1,134-mile project and expanded tribal consultations along the full route of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The National Environmental Policy Act requires a full environmental impact statement for major actions that affect the environment.
Despite repeated Tribal objections to the pipeline’s route based on clear violations of the National Environmental Protection Act and the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the Army Core of Engineers approved the construction of the pipeline with a capacity of 570,000 barrels of crude oil per day, above the mouth of the Cannonball River and the Missouri River, on the Standing Rock Sioux homelands. The Corps’ approval of the permit allows the oil company to dig the pipeline under the Missouri River just upstream of the reservation and the Tribe’s drinking water supply. An oil spill at this site would constitute an existential threat to the Tribe’s culture and way of life as well as 28 million other people who rely on the Missouri River for their water needs.
Over 300 Tribal Nations and tens of thousands of supporters have rallied behind the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe whose treaty rights and water sources are threatened by the pipeline's construction. Peaceful and prayerful water protectors have been violently attacked by private security companies and an increasingly militarized law enforcement presence.
As New Mexicans, we know all too well about spills and contamination. There were more than 1,800 spills related to oil and gas production in New Mexico in 2015 alone.
Congressman Ben Ray Lujan and Congresswoman Michelle Lujan-Grisham, we call on you to stand with your fellow congresspersons to defend Native rights and protect the water. Please sign the letter to push President Obama to rescind the Dakota Access pipeline construction permits.
Why is this important?
Political leaders in New Mexico need to join their colleagues in Congress by signing the letter to President Obama calling on him to halt the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline until a full environmental review and comprehensive consultation with the Tribes and communities affected has been completed.