Thom Hartmann: Welcome Back. Thom Hartmann here with you and super pleased to have Kandi Mossett back with us. She's native energy and climate campaign organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network, IENEarth.org is the website. You can find an action near you today that way. And you can tweet @mhawea or @IENearth. Kandi, welcome back to the program.
Kandi Mossett: Thank you, it's good to be back.
Thom Hartmann: Thanks for joining us. I'm hearing all kinds of stories out of Standing Rock. I heard that the tribal elder David Archambault is saying don't come right now, get active in your local community. On the other hand, I've heard that a lot of people are going there. But the warning is, look out, the police are going to be militarized, they're going to be charging people with felonies, horrible things might happen. What's going on? What is the status of of Standing Rock?
Kandi Mossett: Yeah, so, as you can well imagine, given that the Army Corps did grant the easement to drill, the entire community is experiencing the reaction in different ways. And so David Archambault is the tribal chairman and the call has been for national actions to defund DAPL, to continue taking money out of the banks, and to continue ensuring that as this project moves forward under the Trump administration, people are still making this project not feasible.
Last night I was getting reports and pictures of drilling commencing, starting at around 5:15 central time last night. Drilling meaning that they have to drill the hole and bore underneath the Missouri and anytime, I think that the company itself estimated that the oil could be flowing through the pipe if all goes their way within 83 days.
The tribe however is fighting back in legal measures and so they're suing the company. They are suing, they're first going after a Temporary Restraining Order - an injunction - so a TRO, and that would halt the construction effectively if a judge were to grant a TRO, and still continuing to push for the Environmental Impact Statement which is something that started under the Obama administration and then the Trump administration came in and said, "no, just kidding we're not going to do an Environmental Impact Statement" even though thousands and thousands and thousands of comments were already submitted.
And so the urge is to call the Army Corps of Engineers offices and, "say you're not above the law". This type of Environmental Impact Statement is to ensure that when a leak should occur, everybody down stream, which is 18 million people, would understand the impacts, specifically the Standing Rock Sioux tribe right there would understand the impacts of the leak. And that is why an Environmental Impact Statement rather than just an environmental assessment is so important.
And so, the reason the Chairman is not calling people to come back is because it's been very cold and the Army Corps of Engineers has already said that they're giving anybody in the camp until February 22nd before they have, I guess once again, said they're going to move in. If you'll remember, this happened back December 5th too, when the campers were given an ultimatum.
So people are continuing to come in a last stand effort against the drilling processes that are happening on the ground right now, probably as we speak, and other people are taking action in their own communities to make the whole entire thing not profitable. And if you were watching the Seattle City Council did approve unanimously in a 9-0 vote to divest from the Wells Fargo bank and that was a three billion dollar blow to Wells Fargo which sent a message that banks funding this project are going to continue to be under attack.
Thom Hartmann: Yeah, and I have to say, I had an account with one of the big banks that I closed yesterday.
Kandi Mossett: Oh, excellent.
Thom Hartmann: And I told the vice-president of the bank - he was just a local guy, it's a fancy title - why, and he said I'll pass this up the food chain.
I also, back in January, on January 5th there was a text, a number or an address or something that you could text to to get on the text list for NoDAPL and they posted, and I got a text back on January 5th that said call the Army Corps, tell them to start the EIS process, we'll stay vigilant until they do. And they gave a phone number. I don't know if that's still good but they've given it out twice.
They did it again on January 24th and if that number is good, I'll give it out on the air, here. And then the text I got from them yesterday at 4:33 said Trump says Dakota Access Pipeline wasn't controversial, let's show him these lies won't fly. March on DC with us on March 10. Now, am I getting the right texts from the right people, and is this stuff all accurate?
Kandi Mossett: You are. Those are accurate. Share the number. I believe it's a 202 number, it's an Army Corps number. This Trump administration is acting above the law and outside of the law; to completely turn off and change the decision of an EIS that's already started is actually unheard of. There's a lot of things that are unheard of with this Republican-led administration. And Republicans need to step it up because this is their, the ball is in their Court and as far as I'm concerned all of the things that are happening are because of a Republican-led administration that's not telling this Trump person that he is acting outside of the law. Taking total disregard, lack of regard for treaty rights, violations of human rights, all of these things that occurred didn't just disappear because we have a new president. In fact, they're being amplified.
We have more police on the ground at Standing Rock and if people don't know, a lot of the cases are being tried right there in North Dakota and people in the first round, eight people were found guilty for very crazy charges as a result of not being able to get a fair trial. None of these court cases should be being held in the state of North Dakota. And so the Legal Defense Fund still needs a lot of help too. We have over 700 arrestees now, and you're looking at probably just enough for around three or four thousand per person which is not nearly enough to pay for all of the legal costs, the traveling back and forth, all the court cases. So we're still asking people to donate to the legal defense fund, the Water Protectors Legal Defense Fund.
Thom Hartmann: How do they do that?
Kandi Mossett: There's a website that you can go to, there's a Facebook page you can go to. Water Protectors Legal Defense Fund, if you google that it will also bring it up as well. I forgot my computer here but that is what people keep asking: what can we do, how can we continue to help in this fight? Those are the most important ways.
There's going to be a march in Washington DC on March 10th. We're going to take everybody to DC and show them 'hey, we're still here, this issue is not over'. And I think people really need to understand the big picture too. They're still fracking in the Bakken where this oil is coming from. The Dakota Access Pipeline is a symptom of that larger problem of the fracking that's occurring. And what Trump is doing is effectively pitting all of these different pipelines against each other even though the levels of oil that are being produced are going down, creating something bad to come in the future.
Thom Hartmann: Yeah. Yeah. Not to mention ... go ahead. I'm sorry.
Kandi Mossett: No, go ahead, I'm just saying that's what he's doing. He's creating...
Thom Hartmann: Not to mention the damage it's doing to our environment. Our planet is melting down. The Arctic is melting, everything from microscopic species to polar bears to the humans who are living north of 60 degrees latitude are experiencing a crisis right now. The Arctic is 30 degrees Celsius, 50 degrees warmer Fahrenheit than it's supposed to be or normally is. All, largely because of fossil fuel burning here and around the world. And this just adds to that.
By the way, the phone number that was texted to me by the NODAPL folks was 844 - this is a toll-free number - 844 331 6920 to reach the Army Corps of Engineers
Kandi Mossett: Please do, because they need to be held accountable too for changing their minds even though they've been given pressure, and the pressure is coming from this president who is in a Republican-led office but they are actually being led by the industry. If you look at who's making the shots, who's making the calls, it's people like Kelcy Warren and one step above that it's people like the Koch brothers that have interests in the oil industry.
The oil giants are now practically running the country as Donald Trump continues to be their talking head and pushing their agenda. It's no secret that he is a climate change denier, that he was given money by Kelcy Warren during his, as he was running for his campaign.
Thom Hartmann: Who's Kelcy Warren?
Kandi Mossett: Kelcy Warren is the CEO of Energy Transfer Partners which is the company that is building the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Thom Hartmann: Ah, right, I understand he owns stock in the company as well.
Kandi Mossett: That's right, he owns stock. It's completely unheard of and he and Donald Trump should be taken for crimes against humanity and for having a vested interest in these kind of things.
Thom Hartmann: Yeah.
Kandi Mossett: If we don't want this country to continue to be run by the Koch brothers who have nothing but fossil fuel interests, we have to continue to defund these projects.
It doesn't just stop here because this easement was granted. We've braced ourselves for this since November, since the elections when we found out that this was going to be a not only a Republican-led party but a Donald Trump Republican-led party over the next maybe four years, we'll see. Any president has a mandate to listen to what their people are saying and loud and clear the people are saying they do not want these energy projects. He's not listening to the American public as president.
Thom Hartmann: And Kandi, all these people, these thousands of people who have been arrested at Standing Rock, they're all facing felony charges are they not? I mean, we're talking multiple years in prison if they can't get a good defense and most of them can't afford pretty much any defense at all, do I have that right?
Kandi Mossett: Right.
Thom Hartmann: So, your website at IENEarth.org, as in Indigenous Environmental Network, do you have a link to where people can donate money to help out?
Kandi Mossett: Yes, we have links on our website. You can also go to IndigenousRising.org. Indigenous Rising is our more specific campaign when we're working on different things that are happening throughout Indian country. So that's IndigenousRising.org. You can go to the various links that are posted and let people continue to contribute to the legal defense fund because these cases are continuing over over the next several months, maybe even years, as people are looking at years in prison. I mean, for being a water protector!
Thom Hartmann: Yeah.
Kandi Mossett: It's insane. It's unheard of. There are people that have children. A lot of the people, including myself, that went to Standing Rock to fight back have kids, little kids. My daughter's three. What's gonna happen if these people go to prison?
Thom Hartmann: Yeah, yeah. No, it will be a disaster. And what astonishes me, Kandi, we're talking the Kandi Mossett, she's the native energy and climate campaign organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network IENEarth.org, the thing that amazes me, Kandi, is how little coverage this is getting in the corporate media. Any idea why?
Kandi Mossett: Well, that's because the Koch brothers control the country right now and they're going to do everything they can to provide their own propaganda. There are going to be all kinds of ads and commercials coming out about jobs and how great these jobs are without any regard for the fact that there are no jobs on a dead planet.
And the president right now is pushing for some number of thousands of jobs between the Keystone XL pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline but he's not telling the American public the truth. There is going to be anywhere between 60 and 80 permanent jobs.
Thom Hartmann: Right.
Kandi Mossett: And I'm being generous in saying 60 to 80 permanent jobs between both of those pipelines.
Thom Hartmann: No, I agree, and the union leaders of the pipe fitters and steel welders or whatever they are, you know, there's a couple of union leaders and who popped in with Donald Trump and endorsed this. They are, in my opinion, just traitors to the cause. I realize that's strong language and I get it that they're supposed to represent their people and they do want jobs. And if you want jobs let's work for Card Check for everybody. I mean, there's a lot of ways to create jobs in America short of destroying the planet and breaking treaties, so.
Kandi Mossett: But the most important thing people cannot get stuck in apathy. People cannot say, 'this is just the way it is' and go about your everyday life. People right now across the world you need to stand up and push back in whatever way makes sense for them in their communities. You can go to your city councils, tribal councils if that's what it is, state representatives and tell them that you are not happy with a situation. Don't just sit there and complain about it. Don't just talk to your friends about it. Don't go on Facebook and complain about it. Go to the legal system. Go to the representatives that represent your city, your town, your community, your state and continue making calls to the White House. Continue sending letters.
Thom Hartmann: And call for more divestment as well.
Kandi Mossett: That's right. DefundDAPL.org. It'll tell you the 17 banks and how to divest.
Thom Hartmann: OK, great. Kandi Mossett, thank you very much, Kandi, great talking with you.
Transcribed by Sue Nethercott.