Hawaii Democrat Tulsi Gabbard Joins Opposition to Dakota Access Pipeline
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) has joined the growing chorus of opposition to a controversial pipeline threatening the rights of Native Americans in North Dakota. In a campaign email, Gabbard called for supporters to sign a petition in solidarity “against a greedy oil company and an Army Corp of Engineers that have failed to properly follow the law or actually address the important issues of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and neighboring communities.”
Hawaii, like North Dakota, has one of the largest indigenous populations in the United States.
Gabbard was one of the few elected officials to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign for the presidency, a move she announced in concert with resigning from the top leadership of the Democratic National Committee. Sanders has also come out in opposition to the pipeline, offering a Senate amendment to require environmental statement for the pipeline.
There is nothing more important than protecting the air we breathe, the land we call home, and the water we drink.
That’s why I opposed the Keystone Pipeline. If we are going to take climate change seriously, we must begin to say no to the construction of new pipelines and shift away from fossil fuels to create an energy policy that is sustainable and safe for our future.
For that same reason, and others I have detailed below, I am opposing the creation of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
This pipeline, which would run from North Dakota to South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois, is more than just bad for our environment. It threatens the water supply and tribal lands of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota.
As we speak, hundreds of Native Americans have joined together to protest this pipeline and they are continuing to engage in a long legal process to stop its construction permanently. Over the weekend, these protests turned violent when construction crews destroyed sacred cultural heritage sites and even deployed guard dogs to attack protesters.
Thirty protesters were pepper sprayed and six people were bitten, including a young child. That is appalling and unacceptable.
We cannot remain silent while so many of our brothers and sisters continue to stand up against a greedy oil company and an Army Corp of Engineers that have failed to properly follow the law or actually address the important issues of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and neighboring communities.
Can I count on you to stand with me and our Native American brothers, sisters, and friends by adding your name to our petition opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline?
I will do my best to make sure this issue is addressed in Congress and to have your signature delivered to the organizers of these protests as well as the companies involved in the construction.
We will be in touch soon about our next steps and what more we can do to help ensure this pipeline is never completed.