2 Years After Standing Rock Protests, Tensions Remain But Oil Business Booms

Two years ago in North Dakota, after months of protest by thousands of indigenous and environmental activists, pipeline opponents celebrated when the Obama administration denied a key permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).
"It turned out to be a massive gathering — a world-wide gathering," recalls current Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council Chairman Mike Faith.
I haven’t really left," laughs Cowboy.
He pleaded guilty to civil disorder charges.
Lawsuits continue Two years later, the legal system in North Dakota is still busy processing the people arrested during the anti-DAPL protests.
And in yet another case, tribal members and others filed suit over the shutdown of a local highway near the protests for five months.
But The Bismarck Tribune reported the tribe suffered a $6 million budget shortfall, largely because less money was coming in from the casino.
"People weren’t happy about what was going on and the way protesters were treating other people," Keller says.
Schulz says the protests cost his county nearly $40 million for police, fire, including repairing damaged infrastructure, cleaning-up protest camps and prosecutions.
North Dakota’s oil production is growing so fast the state likely will run out of pipeline capacity next year, which is one reason Energy Transfer recently announced it plans to expand its Dakota Access Pipeline so that it can transport even more oil.

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