Podcast: Legal Issues in the Dakota Access Pipeline Protest at Standing Rock

Since April, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, alongside other Native American tribes, have been protesting the construction of Energy Transfer Partners’ Dakota Access Pipeline. The tribe claims that this pipeline, which will stretch from North Dakota to Illinois along a route adjacent to their land, is a threat to their drinking water, sacred land and the future of their children. They also claim that they were not consulted before the approval of the project.

In the latest episode of the legal-affairs podcast Lawyer 2 Lawyer, we look at the legal issues around the pipeline and around the protest. Our guests for this discussion are:

  • Jeffrey Haas, a founding partner of the People’s Law Office in Chicago and a noted criminal defense and civil rights lawyer who has defended such clients as the Black Panthers and the Attica prison rioters, and who has been on location at Standing Rock as part of the Water Protector Legal Collective providing legal services to the protesters in conjunction with the National Lawyers Guild. Haas wrote about his experiences at Standing rock in an op-ed, Lawyer’s View: Recent Days at Standing Rock.
  • Monte Mills, co-director of the Margery Hunter Brown Indian Law Clinic at the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana. Mills teaches a variety of Indian law courses and works with clinical students on a range of legal matters in the Indian Law Clinic. Prior to joining the faculty at the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana, Monte was the Director of the Legal Department for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe in Colorado.

Listen above, at the Legal Talk Network, on YouTube, or on iTunes. Never miss an episode by subscribing via the iTunes library or our RSS feed.

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  • Stokes

    Just another example of a big company believing it can do whatever it wants. And to some extent, I’m not necessarily against that. Businesses need the ability to take reasonable risks, expand and try to grow. However, when the risks don’t work out, most businesses do not make things right or pay for when the risk fails.

    If a company wants to build a pipeline, that’s great. But what happens if there is a spill? Will the company do whatever it takes to clean things up and fix things up? Not usually; they just deny they did anything wrong and in the rare case they have to pay up, they only a small amount of what’s really needed to makes things right.