Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein has been a vocal supporter of the ongoing Standing Rock protests against the Dakota Access oil pipeline, risking arrest and criminal charges after joining the NoDAPL activists over the summer. It’s no surprise, then, that Stein welcomed the recent news that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had denied the the pipeline’s owners, Energy Transfer Partners, an easement necessary for its current route—a move that essentially halts the pipeline’s construction for the time being.
However, as Stein admitted during a recent interview with Fusion’s Jorge Ramos, the Corps’ announcement, welcome as it may be, is ultimately a temporary fix—one which is a “step in the right direction,” but is not “a final ruling.” In fact, as Ramos noted, the decision is one which could be easily reversed by President-elect Donald Trump once he assumes office–a scenario that seems like a distinct possibility.
Despite—or perhaps because of—the tenuous nature of the Army Corps’ decision, Stein has in mind another, more permanent solution in mind for preserving and protecting the land threatened by the Dakota Access Pipeline.
“What President Obama should do now is make this a national park, make it a historic preservation land,” Stein explained to Ramos. “He could take steps right now which would protect the Standing Rock Sioux and protect the Missouri River forever. He could do that, and he should step up to the plate and make that happen.”
Stein is not alone in her call to transform the pipeline’s route into a national park. A recent op-ed in The Hill makes a similar request, and a Change.org petition about the issue has over 4,000 signatories.
For Stein, however, the declaration of a historical preservation site is just part of a larger, holistic solution to the questions posed by the Dakota Access Pipeline. “We should be building clean, renewable energy,” she told Ramos. “Which creates all the jobs we need, but without destroying our climate, our water, and our air.”
Watch Jill Stein’s full interview with Jorge Ramos, in which she discusses Standing Rock, as well as her election recount efforts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, on Fusion at 10 PM ET on Tuesday, December 6.