On my radio show yesterday Congressman Kevin Cramer suggested that, in delaying construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Obama administration has “enabled” and is “encouraging” what he described as “rioting” by #NoDAPL protesters.
Earlier this year, despite a federal court ruling in favor of the pipeline, the Obama administration held back an easement for the project to cross the Lake Oahe reservoir. That decision has stalled the project, and now hundreds of protesters are occupying private land in the pipeline’s work corridor.
It’s a corridor that Cramer walked last week along with Standing Rock Chairman David Archambault. “We were out there for six hours,” Cramer told me of the tour which was aimed at clearing the air over accusations, made by Archambault, that there are human remains and/or cultural artifacts in the path of the pipeline.
Cramer said the tour found what tribal historians on the tour identified as cultural significant archaeological features but added there was “nothing within the work corridor.”
“Everything was outside of the corridor,” he added.
Archambault claimed last week that a bone fragment, later found to be from an animal, was evidence proving the project should be shut down. Cramer said the chairman was creating “hysteria.”
I also asked Cramer about Archambault’s demand that the Department of Justice intervene in the protests due to what he describes as “militarized” police tactics against protesters. Cramer did agree with federal involvement, though not for the same reason Archambault claimed. “They out to make sure the lawful and permitted pipeline is protected,” he said, adding that the “restraint of our law enforcement officers should be commended” and “taught all over the country.”
Here’s the full audio: