Earlier this week Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate about the Dakota Access Pipeline and the #NoDAPL protests opposing it.
It was about what you’d expect.
Today North Dakota Senator John Hoeven gave a rebuttal, and it was pretty excellent. Here’s the video, and a full transcript is below.
“Twice challenged and twice upheld – including by the Obama administration’s own appointees – the federal courts found that the Army Corps had followed the appropriate process, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe was properly consulted, and the project could lawfully proceed,” Senator Hoeven said. “In total, the Army Corps held 389 meetings, conferred with more than 55 tribes, and conducted a 1,261-page environmental assessment, before finding that this infrastructure project has no significant environmental impact.”
He also made a strong defense of law enforcement.
“There have been instances of trespassing, vandalism, theft and fire on privately owned ranchland. Residents have endured the challenges caused by roads being blocked or closed, either by protest activity or law enforcement’s response to it to ensure safety at a time when farmers and ranchers are busy harvesting, hauling hay, shipping calves and moving their herds from summer pasture,” he said.
“Law enforcement has worked to protect everyone. They have been patient, professional and diligent. They have not used concussion grenades,” Hoeven continued. “More than 500 protestors have been arrested for breaking the law, and over 90 percent of them are from out of state – many if not most are not Native American. They are environmental activists from other parts of the country.”
Unfortunately the impression most people around the country have of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the protests surrounding it is one based on the message sent from the professional activists and their public relations teams straight to credulous national media reporters. To this point North Dakota’s leaders from Governor Jack Dalrymple to our state’s federal delegation – have not been speaking loud enough in rebuttal, which has created a vacuum the protesters have filled with a lot of nonsense.
This is a good start from Hoeven, but we need more.
Here’s the full transcript:
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