An update from Rev Brooks Berndt, United Church of Christ Minister for Environmental Justice, following the Obama Administration’s announcement that it will deny the final permit needed to construct the Dakota Access Pipeline -
Celebrate, give thanks, and continue the pursuit of justice with renewed hope! Throughout this year UCC advocates have faithfully petitioned President Obama, the Army Corp of Engineers and other decision makers, calling on them to block construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
This week we got our response. On December 4th, the Obama Administration announced that the US Army Corps would not grant Dakota Access LLC the last remaining easement it needs to drill under the Missouri River at Lake Oahe and complete construction of the pipeline.
You called upon the Obama administration to act, and the best possible action on the pipeline permit was taken. By refusing to grant the permit and by undertaking an environmental impact statement, the Obama administration has initiated a process that will not be easy for the incoming administration to unwind and rollback.
I am so grateful and proud of the many ways you and other UCC advocates have acted in solidarity with our Native brothers and sisters at Standing Rock. Your prayers, your gifts and your advocacy were essential. Thank you for your faithful witness.
There will be more work to come. We will be vigilant and ready for it when the opportunity arises. For a fuller conversation of the response to what happened, I encourage you to read an article written by Connie Larkman entitled "Standing Rock Water Protectors Celebrate Victory, Stay Vigilant."
Rev. Brooks Berndt, PhD
Minister for Environmental Justice
United Church of Christ