Protesters Rally Outside Pipeline Company In Houston

Indigenous and environmental activists marched to the Houston offices of the company building the controversial Dakota Access and Trans-Pecos pipelines.


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In downtown Houston Wednesday, people in traditional tribal dress were dancing to drums, chanting and waving incense through the air.

They joined dozens of other protesters against Energy Transfer Partners. The Dallas-based company is building the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline and the Trans-Pecos Pipeline, which runs through Texas.

"The fact that they're entering communities without permission, they're entering tribal lands and desecrated, sacred territory," said Yvette Arellano with TEJAS – Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services. "It's corporate greed and corporate-driven."

Indigenous and environmental activists rally outside the Houston offices of Energy Transfer Partners, which is building the controversial Dakota Access and Trans-Pecos pipelines.
Indigenous and environmental activists rally outside the Houston offices of Energy Transfer Partners, which is building the controversial Dakota Access and Trans-Pecos pipelines.

One protester, who only identified himself as Eddie for fear of backlash, said the Trans-Pecos Pipeline runs through the lands of his ancestors, the Carrizo/Comecrudo tribe in West Texas.

"They already have knowingly destroyed a 5,000-year-old archeological site, sacred site of our tribe," he said. "And anything that they're digging out there is going through the graves of our ancestors."

In a statement, Energy Transfer Partners said they discovered an archeological site early on and adjusted the pipeline route accordingly.

The company also said it's committed to "protect cultural resources, the environment and public safety" (you can read the whole statement below).

On Sunday, a federal court lifted an injunction against the Dakota Access Pipeline. The federal government has asked Energy Transfer Partners to voluntarily halt construction pending further review, but the company is not complying.


Energy Transfer Media Statement

We are pleased with the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals to dissolve the administrative injunction that had temporarily suspended construction activities on the Dakota Access pipeline in an area near the proposed crossing of the Missouri River at Lake Oahe. The Appeals Court has now joined with the Federal District Court in denying the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's motion for an injunction to stop construction of the Dakota Access pipeline.

The decisions by two separate federal courts show that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers acted with great care and followed the law with respect to the river crossing permits issued to Dakota Access. The Army Corps and Dakota Access carefully considered the views of all potentially affected tribes that chose to participate in the consultative process prescribed by Congress, and fully complied with both the letter and the spirit of the National Historic Preservation Act. Their careful and sensitive work has been reviewed and approved by highly qualified private and state-employed archeologists. We continue to believe that the Army Corps will soon issue the easement for approximately 1,100 feet necessary for the crossing beneath the Missouri River—the sole remaining authorization necessary for completion of the project.

In light of Sunday's court decision, Dakota Access looks forward to a prompt resumption of construction activities east and west of Lake Oahe on private land. We reiterate our commitment to protect cultural resources, the environment and public safety. We echo the urgings of the North Dakota Governor, its two Senators, its Congressman and local enforcement officials that any protests be undertaken in a peaceful and law abiding manner. All construction efforts will be undertaken in close coordination with State and local law enforcement officials, and we are hopeful their law enforcement efforts will be supplemented by those of the federal government.


Trans-Pecos Pipeline

The survey teams conducting an analysis for the Trans-Pecos Pipeline discovered a previously undocumented archaeological site early in the process. This information was submitted to the Texas Historic Sites Atlas and the site was determined as eligible for the National Register of Historic Places by the Texas Historical Commission. As a result, the pipeline route was adjusted so that this site would not be within the boundaries of our right-of-way. There are no archeological sites within the pipeline right-of-way along the entire route. Anything to the contrary is not correct.

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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

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