Keystone approval an ‘act of war,’ says Native American tribe



The Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota has called the U.S. House of Representatives’ authorization of Keystone XL an “act of war” and vowed to close its borders to stop the pipeline.

The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives on Friday approved the $5.4-billion pipeline that would carry crude oil from Alberta’s oilsands to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

“The House has now signed our death warrants and the death warrants of our children and grandchildren. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe will not allow this pipeline through our lands,” Rosebud President Cyril L. Scott told the Lakota Voice.

“We are outraged at the lack of intergovernmental co-operation. We are a sovereign nation and we are not being treated as such. We will close our reservation borders to Keystone XL. Authorizing Keystone XL is an act of war against our people.”

The proposed pipeline route would cross through the Great Sioux Nation, which the tribe notes is protected by the 1851 and 1868 Fort Laramie Treaties, and through the Rosebud Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux reservations.

Keystone’s fate has not been sealed with the House’s approval, however. The pipeline proposal has struggled to get enough support in the Senate and President Barack Obama indicated he might use his veto if the bill does get through Congress.

The legislation, approved by 252 votes to 161, circumvents the need for approval of TransCanada Corp’s project by the Obama administration, which has been considering it for more than six years.

No Republicans voted against the measure, while 31 Democrats voted for the bill.

It was the ninth time the House has passed a Keystone bill, and supporters were confident that this time the Senate would follow suit and pass its version.

But passage was not assured in the Senate, which is expected to take up the measure next Tuesday.

— With files from Reuters’ Timothy Gardner and Susan Cornwell
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