Celebrity activists are cheering a recent victory in the longest protest in modern history, as the Obama administration halts the construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, Breitbart News reports.
On Sunday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said that an easement, which would grant the right for the construction company to use the land, would not be granted in southern North Dakota for the pipeline.
The protesting controversy stemmed from the construction of the pipeline by Energy Transfer Partners out of Texas. For months, several thousand protesters had camped near the construction site, energized by their unity and belief that the pipeline, if allowed to follow its planned course, would threaten cultural sites and water resources. USAToday reports that the protest was the largest in modern history. Protesters at times suffered through freezing temperatures and clashed with law enforcement who subdued them with water cannons and tear gas.
Despite the protests, Energy Transfer Partners had been unwilling to reroute the project. When construction is completed, the company says the pipeline will carry 470,000 barrels of domestic crude oil a day from North Dakota to Illinois in a cost-effective and environmentally responsible manner. The construction of the pipeline is now largely complete, except for the section that had been intended to run underneath Lake Oahe, a Missouri River reservoir.
The decision not to grant the easement was made by Assistant Secretary for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy, who said her decision was based on the need to “explore alternate routes” for the pipeline’s crossing.
Breitbart reports that the announcement was a major victory for environmentalists and members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, and that the victory was cheered online by tweets from celebrities that included Seth MacFarlane, Mark Ruffalo, Shailene Woodley, Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael Moore, Katy Perry, Chelsea Handler, Sally Field, Alyssa Milano, Minnie Driver, John Cusack, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Billy Eichner, and Sarah Silverman.