Hundreds protest in downtown Sacramento against Dakota oil pipeline

Hundreds of people protested Tuesday in downtown Sacramento against the construction of an oil pipeline in the Dakotas near tribal land.

Protests have been ongoing in recent weeks in various cities against the Dakota Access Pipeline. On Tuesday, about 300 people formed outside the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office at 1325 J St.

Protesters gathered on both sides of J Street, mostly in the front of the Sacramento Convention Center. Cars honked in support of protesters holding signs such as “No DAPL.”

Linda Kenton, a midtown Sacramento resident, said she was there to fight “injustice to Indians.”

“You can’t drink oil – keep it in the soil,” Kenton said.

Angelo Campus said he was there in environmental solidarity after Donald Trump’s election as president, which he fears will undermine efforts against climate change.

“Our first priority should be protecting the climate,” Campus said.

The Corps on Monday called for more study and input from the Standing Rock Sioux before it decides whether to allow the pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe, according to the Associated Press.

The 1,200-mile pipeline would carry North Dakota oil through South Dakota and Iowa to a shipping point in Illinois. It is largely complete except for the Standing Rock stretch, which will skirt the tribe’s reservation. The tribe says the pipeline threatens drinking water and cultural sites.

The Corps in July granted Energy Transfer Partners the permits needed for the project, but it said in September that further analysis was warranted, given the tribe’s concerns. Its announcement Monday came amid speculation that federal officials were on the brink of approving the crossing. ETP last week began preparing equipment to bore under the river.

“Dakota Access has been waiting long enough to complete this pipeline,” the company’s CEO, Kelcy Warren, said Tuesday.

ETP disputes that the pipeline would endanger the tribe and Warren noted earlier that Army Assistant Secretary Jo-Ellen Darcy had informed company officials and Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault that the Corps’ previous permit decisions “comported with legal requirements.” ETP contends that the Corps has no legal justification for the delay.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews