Governor, tribal leader discuss reducing protest tensions
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple and Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault have met to discuss reducing tensions between law officers and Dakota Access oil pipeline opponents, as the main protest camp begins to clear out after the federal government stalled the $3.8 billion project.
Developer Energy Transfer Partners and the Army are battling in court over permission for the pipeline to cross under the Missouri River in southern North Dakota, the last large chunk of construction for the project to move North Dakota oil 1,200 miles to a shipping point in Illinois. Thousands of opponents who have protested for months have been leaving their main camp in southern North Dakota in recent days due to the work stoppage and severe winter weather.
Archambault said Tuesday that the tribe estimates only about 300 people remain in the main camp. Dalrymple said in a statement that the camp might be vacated by Jan. 1, but Archambault said that's not the case. Some in the camp have said they need until the end of the year to complete their exit, while others plan to stay the winter, he said.