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Following President Joe Biden’s decision to kill the Keystone XL pipeline by way of an executive order, more than 200 environmentally-conscious celebrities have called upon the president to kill the Dakota Access Pipeline.
“More than 200 people have signed a letter addressed to Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris urging them to shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline after a court ruled that President Donald Trump’s administration broke the law when it pushed forward with construction during his tenure in the White House,” reports The Hollywood Reporter (THR).
“Some of those include Leonardo DiCaprio, Cher, Ava DuVernay, Jane Fonda, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Jason Momoa, Kerry Washington, Sarah Silverman, Amy Schumer, Chelsea Handler, Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany, Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara,” the report continued. In the lengthy letter, the signatories call upon Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, arguing that it violated the sovereignty rights of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and was not given an Environmental Impact Statement.” In 2016, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe became the epicenter of a global climate justice movement to stop the illegal construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline,” the letter states. “The pipeline had originally been slated to cross the Missouri River north of Bismarck, ND, yet the risk of an oil spill on the city’s 90% white inhabitants was deemed too great. The new crossing site shifted the risk to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, in a location of key religious and cultural importance, including the burial grounds of their ancestors. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved several of the required permits without conducting an Environmental Impact Statement or adequately consulting with the Tribe.”
“After several months of peaceful demonstrations and the advocacy of tens of millions of Americans, President Obama listened to the demands of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe,” it continues. “He declined to issue the final pipeline permit. Then the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced they would conduct a full environmental review, which would focus on the Tribe’s treaty rights. However, Trump stopped the review and fast-tracked the pipeline hours after he took office, further violating tribal sovereignty.”
The letter goes on to explain that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and others fought the Trump administration in court over the next five years on until the U.S. District Court ruled in March of last year that the “pipeline was operating without the proper permits and needed to have a full environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act.”
“The Court ordered the U.S. Army Corps to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement. In July 2020, the Court ordered the pipeline be shut down. After an appeal, on January 27th, days after your Inauguration, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the pipeline is operating illegally and gave your Administration the authority to shut down the pipeline,” it argues.
As reported by The Daily Wire, Joe Biden’s decision to shut down the Keystone XL Pipeline cost thousands of jobs, prompting ire from several union leaders that backed him during the 2020 election.