Actress Shailene Woodley made a powerful statement about the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Obama administration's response to the growing tensions. Woodley spoke out during an interview with "Gasland" director Josh Fox, which was posted by Rolling Stone.
Woodley was arrested back in October while protesting the pipeline. In her interview with Fox she reiterated support for the Standing Rock reservation and called for the Obama administration to act:
"I want Obama to take a stand. Here's the thing, Obama's administration has said that they're fearful that if they stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, President-elect Trump will come in and reinstall it. I ask and I pray, not out of a place of shaming, not out of a place of guilting, [that the administration stop the pipeline]. Obama did come to Standing Rock reservation a few years ago ... and he met with the youth here. And then he flew those youth to Washington, D.C., and their stories affected him. Their stories changed his heart, because he has children himself. ... And so, I ask that they look at this situation, not out of a place of fear – if you're fearful that President-elect Trump will reinstall this pipeline, then you're going to have to trust that the people on the ground aren't going to let that happen. But if you want to ... throw these words out like 'negotiate with the tribe' and 'compromise with the tribe' – I'm not speaking for the tribe, clearly; this is just from an objective outsider's point of view – but they've negotiated for 500 years, and they've compromised for 500 years. And they didn't have a choice not to, because of colonization.
"I think there's a lot of fear surrounding Trump, and I'm the one weirdo who, the second ... he was elected, I was like, 'Alright, roll up your sleeves, let's do this.' Because for the first time in a long-ass time, white privilege, race privilege, culture, tradition, religion – nothing's going to save you anymore, nothing's going to keep you safe."
The Obama administration has stated the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline will be delayed for now, but the administration has not halted the project altogether. President-elect Donald Trump has promised to expedite pipeline projects and has given much support to the fossil fuel industry overall.
If the project is completed, around 400,000 barrels of crude oil would move per day along the 1,172-mile-long pipeline between Illinois and North Dakota. The project's proponents claim it will bring jobs to the area. (However, this piece takes issue with that claim.)
Opponents, including thousands of protesters led by Native American tribes, point to environmental racism: The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe states that the proposed path of the crude oil pipeline puts their water supply at risk. The Army Corps of Engineers recently told protesters that they must evacuate the Standing Rock area by Dec. 5.