Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard called on President Barack Obama to immediately halt construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in a speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday.
Gabbard also reiterated her plan to join a veterans group this weekend at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota, where pipeline protesters — including a contingent from Hawaii — have been encamped.
The pipeline is expected to pump up to 570,000 barrels of crude oil a day from North Dakota to Illinois, but Sioux tribal leaders say it threatens their water supply and cultural heritage sites.
Here’s an excerpt from Gabbard’s speech on the House floor:
Growing up in Hawaii, I learned the value of caring for our home, caring for our planet, and the basic principle that we are all connected in a great chain of cause and effect.
The Dakota Access Pipeline is a threat to this great balance of life. Despite strong opposition from the Standing Rock Sioux and serious concerns raised by the EPA, the Department of Interior, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and other Federal agencies, the Army Corps of Engineers approved permits to construct the Dakota Access Pipeline without adequately consulting the tribes, and without fully evaluating the potential impacts to neighboring tribal lands, sacred sites, and their water supply. Just one spill near the tribe’s reservation could release thousands of barrels of crude oil, contaminating the tribe’s drinking water.