Having lent support to the North Dakota pipeline protesters, the Obama administration is stiff-arming requests for more federal assistance as the situation on the ground at the massive encampment grows increasingly volatile.
Six states sent law enforcement support to the Dakota Access pipeline site after several law enforcement officers were hurt in last weekend’s clashes that saw 127 arrests, the shooting of a drone that buzzed a helicopter and the use of pepper spray against protesters who charged a police line.
Even so, the Justice Department said it has no plans to provide more resources. So far the agency has provided mediators to “facilitate communication, defuse tensions, support peaceful protests and maintain public safety,” said spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle.
“The department has also offered technical assistance and community policing resources to local law enforcement in support of these goals,” said Mr. Hornbuckle in a statement, adding that the agency is “taking the situation in North Dakota seriously.”
He also reiterated the Obama administration’s request for Energy Transfer Partners to stop work voluntarily on the pipeline project, which the company has declined to do, in order for the Army Corps of Engineers to review issues raised by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.
For those living and working in Morton County, North Dakota, however, waiting for the administration to research a project already approved by state and federal regulators comes at a cost.