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Canadian and U.S. tribes join forces against any more pipelines

The Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion was signed in Montreal and Vancouver on Thursday.

All this comes about as Native American tribes take their pipeline battle to Washington, D.C. to stop development of the $3.7 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline, according to Reuters.

The proposed pipeline would cross private and federally managed lands in North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois. The U.S. Justice Department intervened last week, temporarily halting any further work on the pipeline.

Oral arguments will be heard on Wednesday, October 5, at 9:30 a.m. ET in the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Until then, the injunction halting construction remains in place.

The treaty was signed by 50 aboriginal groups in North America who also plan to oppose tanker and rail projects in both countries. Projects proposed by Kinder Morgan Inc, TransCanada Corp. and Enbridge Inc. are just some of the targets for opposition, according to CBC News.

Among the many tribes who signed the treaty was the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, which opposes the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

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“What this treaty means is that from Quebec, we will work with allies in [British Columbia] to make sure that the Kinder Morgan pipeline does not pass,” Kanesatake grand chief Serge Simon said. “And we will also work with our tribal allies in Minnesota as they take on Enbridge’s Line 3 expansion, and we know they’ll help us do the same against Energy East,” he said, according to The Guardian.

The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, whose members include the targeted companies as well as many others, issued their own statement, saying they would listen to what the aboriginal tribes had to say. But, the statement also said, “The fact remains there is a critical need for pipelines in Canada.”

Sunoco Logistics, the future operator of the Dakota Access Pipeline “spills crude more often than any of its competitors with more than 200 leaks since 2010,” according to a Reuters analysis of U.S. government data

Reuters also found that in the legal complaint filed by the Standing Rock Sioux, there is no mention of the frequent oil spills by Sunoco or its parent, Energy Transfer Partners. The complaint focuses in its entirety on environmental issues, although the spill rates do add substance to the tribe’s legal complaint.

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