With federal officials announcing this afternoon that they would not approve permits allowing construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline beneath a section of the Missouri River, several legal minds and government leaders have voiced their opinions on the decision.

Here are their thoughts:

U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch:

“In light of today’s decision by the Department of the Army regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Department of Justice will continue to monitor the situation in North Dakota in the days ahead and we stand ready to provide resources to help all those who can play a constructive role in easing tensions. The department remains committed to supporting local law enforcement, defending protestors’ constitutional right to free speech and fostering thoughtful dialogue on the matter. We recognize the strong feelings that exist in connection with this issue, but it is imperative that all parties express their views peacefully and join us in support of a deliberate and reasonable process for de-escalation and healing. The safety of everyone in the area – law enforcement officers, residents and protesters alike – continues to be our foremost concern.” – Department of Justice statement


Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund:

“This is how you win. Courage, demand, determination, grace, consistency, organizing.” – @Sifill_LDF

North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp:

“It’s long past time that a decision is made on the easement going under Lake Oahu. This administration’s delay in taking action–after I’ve pushed the White House, Army Corps, and other federal agencies for months to make a decision–means that today’s move doesn’t actually  bring finality to the project. The pipeline still remains in limbo. The incoming administration already stated its support for the project and the courts have already stated twice that it appears the Corps followed the required process in considering the permit. For the next month and a half, nothing about this project will change. For the immediate future, the safety of residents, protesters, law enforcement, and workers remains my top priority as it should for everyone involve.” – Valley News Live

New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich:

“President Barack Obama has just risen to the challenge and listened to all of our voices to reject the current route of the Dakota Access Pipeline. I commend President Obama for doing the right thing. Much appreciation for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and protectors for fighting so valiantly.” – @MartinHeinrich


Disclaimer: I have not, as of yet, found any responses in disagreement with today’s statement. If you know of any, please include the quote and source in the comments.