In a letter to President Barack Obama, dated October 21st, Mayor Biskupski joined mayors from Seattle, Los Angeles, Portland, and Madison, WI to demonstrate her support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The letter acknowledges the Administration’s statements affirming that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will continue to deny authorization to construct the Dakota Access Pipeline on Army Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe, and further requests the Administration halt construction until a full environmental and cultural review is completed.
“Salt Lake City is home to several Native American peoples representing the Diné, Ute, Shoshone, Paiute, Goshute, and other tribes, which enhance the cultural diversity of the city,” said Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “It is important for us to recognize the connection all tribes share with one another, and respect the significance all Native Americans place on ancestral territory, even when they are thousands of miles away.”
In their appeal, the mayors also highlight the overall environmental impact the pipeline will have, particularly the long-term climate change effects caused by the burning of fossil fuels. In July, Mayor Biskupski and the City Council signed a landmark Joint Resolution, pledging to transition the City to 100% renewable energy by 2032, and to reduce carbon emissions citywide by 2040. In September, Mayor Biskupski sent the City Council for their review the new franchise agreement between Rocky Mountain Power and the City, which is inclusive of these goals.
“Salt Lake City has taken bold action to address the effects of climate change,” said Mayor Biskupski. “Our local action must be coupled with national and worldwide efforts to ensure a healthy, and sustainable future for everyone in our City.”
The five signatories encouraged other state and local leaders to come forward in support adding: “As municipal governments, each of our cities had to weigh a number of sometimes competing interests—economic, cultural, labor, and environmental—before declaring our support. At the end of the day, however, this project is harmful to not only the tribe’s cultural resources, but to an important federal natural resource.”
On November 1, 2016, Mayor Jackie Biskupski will declare November Native American Heritage Month at a ceremony on the grounds of City Hall at 10:30 AM.
Read the full lettter: 2016 Dakota Pipeline Letter