Ed Fallon, director of Bold Iowa, says his group and ICCI are trying to get President Obama to stop the pipeline project, which will cut through 18 Iowa counties.
“Maybe the additional actions that we will take through protests and direct action will get his attention,” Fallon says. “I feel the ten landowners that are suing over eminent domain, I think that’s a strong case but it’s not going to happen very fast. In the meantime, this company is just going to continue to roll forward.”
Earlier this month, suspected arson fires in Jasper and Mahaska counties caused nearly one-million dollars damage to construction equipment being used to build the pipeline. ICCI leaders said their opposition is peaceful and they don’t approve of violence or setting fires. Fallon says his group, ICCI and Native American leaders will engage in civil disobedience, if necessary, in order to protect the state’s land and water from a potential pipeline disaster.
“Tribal communities in North and South Dakota have been incredible and we’ve had some native leaders here in Iowa as well who have done everything they can to save it,” Fallon says. “If it comes to a situation where we’ve got to risk arrest and stand in front of this pipeline company, then we’ll do that.” Dakota Access has gotten the needed state and federal permission to move forward with the project, touting the many construction jobs being created and the millions of dollars Iowa landowners are being paid for the use of their land.
“To call this something that’s for our good, the good of the people, that’s obviously not true,” Fallon says. “This is so some very wealthy people can get even wealthier at the expense of our land and our water and our property rights.” Dakota Access is building the $3.8 billion pipeline from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa, ending up in Illinois.
(Reporting by Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)