American Oil and Gas Reporter - November 2016 - 99

That is important for us to be competitive
in this part of the world."
Later, state Representative Marvin
Nelson, D-Rolla, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, attributed much of the
impasse to cultural differences and contrasting communication styles.
According to Nelson, miscommunication
explained why the Standing Rock Sioux
opted not to participate in the permitting
process. "Since the law said the tribe must
be consulted, the tribe thought failing to
engage would block the pipeline. Of course,
it did not . . . and now it has taken on a life
of its own, with groups that do not want
any oil production getting involved."
Nelson told NDPC he detected ominous
signals several months ago. "I knew we
were in trouble when the protest camps
were set up last April," he related. "This
is being led by a bunch of elders; it is not
going away."
Hall offered some brief remarks after
receiving NDPC's 2016 Outstanding Service
Award, in part for his work on the MHA
Nation Tribal Business Council. He noted
that Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David
Archambault was addressing the United
Nations Human Rights Council on the
same day as the NDPC convention, and
said the tribe's opposition had deep roots.
"It is a big issue to them that goes
back to honoring treaties and tribes' inherent sovereignty," he assessed. "If we
are going to be partners in agreements
and legislation, we have to respect each
other's sovereignty in a spirit of partnership
and mutual respect."
Chairman Fox also emphasized tribal
sovereignty, and pointed out that the U.S.
Supreme Court first upheld the concept
in an 1830 decision. He called on companies to comply with tribal oversight in

the same way they would a state or
national government. "You have to work
with our rules, regulations, laws and policies," he declared. "Look at it as a cost
of doing business. If you sometimes think
that cost is exorbitant, unusual or wearisome, I ask you to take a step back and
think of it as the investment it truly is."
Fox mentioned a number of costs and
benefits that had followed the Three Affiliated Tribes' decision to allow oil and
gas activity on the Fort Berthold Reservation. "We want responsible development
on Fort Berthold," he expressed. "We do
not want to risk our people, our lands,
and most importantly, our most valuable
resource: water. We can have production.
We can be responsible. We can protect
our water at the same time."
Extensive Review
AOPL's Black said DAPL's planned
route was chosen precisely to protect water.
He indicated that in their National Environmental Policy Act assessment, federal
regulators determined an alternative route
that crossed the Missouri River north of
Bismarck, N.D., would traverse 48 more
miles of green spaces, 11 more miles of
100-year flood plains, six more miles of
agricultural land, 33 more miles of water
bodies, and 20 more miles of wetlands.
"Not finishing DAPL or significantly
changing the route actually would be worse
for the environment," he warned. "At the
Missouri River crossing at Lake Oahe,
the pipeline would burrow 100 feet under
the bottom of the river, never coming into
contact with the river. Near Lake Oahe,
DAPL will track the path of an existing
natural gas pipeline and overhead electric
transmission lines . . . within 300 feet."
He pointed to the U.S. Army Corps of

LEFT: Although the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Sahnish (MHA) three affiliated tribes permit oil
and gas within their territory, Chairman Mark Fox tells NDPC that the MHA nation stands
with other tribes regarding the subject of tribal sovereignty. RIGHT: (from left) NDPC
Chairman Eric Dillé, MHA Councilman Ken Hall, his wife Cara Currie Hall, and NDPC Tribal
Lands Committee co-Chairman Josh Ruffo pause after NDPC recognized Ken Hall with an
Outstanding Service Award for his work with the MHA Tribal Business Council. During his
remarks after accepting the award, Hall called for a spirit of partnership and mutual
respect between companies and tribes.

Not finishing the Dakota Access Pipeline
or significantly altering its route would
be a net loss for the environment, maintains Association of Oil Pipelines President and Chief Executive Officer Andrew
Black. He also told NDPC that the pipeline
company met all of the law's requirements for tribal consultation.

Engineers' 1,261-page NEPA review with
regard to the project's potential environmental, economic and cultural impacts.
"That found it would not significantly
affect the quality of the human environment," Black described. "It also studied
alternatives to DAPL-including not building the pipeline. The Corps found the
pipeline was safer and better for the environment than the status quo."
He went on to note that the U.S. District
Court opinion issued earlier that month
found that the Corps either met or exceeded
all consultation requirements. "As a federal
judge appointed by President Obama
found, consultation included 215 interactions between the Corps, DAPL representatives, and consulting parties such as
tribes, cultural representatives and historical
preservation representatives," Black detailed. "Professionally-licensed archaeologists conducted in-depth, cultural surveys
on more than 350 miles of the proposed
route through methods coordinated with
and approved by the North Dakota State
Historic Preservation Office."
Throughout that process, he said, surveys
identified 91 cultural features and made
140 route modifications to avoid them all.
"The Corps documented dozens of attempts
to consult with local stakeholders from
the fall of 2014 to the spring," he stated.
"There were numerous visits to the area
to identify sites of cultural significance
and a number of meetings between highlevel tribal and court officials."
Therefore, he asserted, the Obama administration's move to reopen the evaluation
is unparalleled. "The unprecedented anNOVEMBER 2016 99



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - November 2016

Contents
American Oil and Gas Reporter - November 2016 - 1
American Oil and Gas Reporter - November 2016 - 2
American Oil and Gas Reporter - November 2016 - Contents
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