BISMARCK, ND - After last week’s Dakota Access Pipeline protests, many were left with questions about if this situation would ever come to an end. The state's representatives in D.C. echoed those sentiments.
U.S. Senator John Hoeven and Representative Kevin Cramer were clear about one thing - they want to see a conclusion to the Dakota Access Pipeline protests.
Another explosive conflict between protesters and law enforcement started Thursday and continued over the weekend. With close to 150 protesters arrested, many were left asking when this conflict will end. North Dakota's political leaders in Washington say they want to see it happen soon.
"It's about law enforcement, it's about keeping people safe, and we need to get the situation resolved," Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D.
Congressman Kevin Cramer says federal agencies are at fault.
"The federal government shirked its responsibilities when it withdrew a permit they'd already legally provided and created chaos in that decision," says Cramer, R-N.D.
Senator Hoeven agrees and has been urging the Army Corp of Engineers to issue the easement.
"We need to Corps to issue that easement so they can complete the construction, complete the project and get back to normal," says Hoeven.
When and if that easement is issued, it's unclear if that will bring an an end to the protests.
Both Hoeven and Cramer repeatedly praised the Morton County Sheriff's Department for showing patience and restraint during the conflict.
Senator Hedi Heitkamp released the following statement in response to the protests:
“The incidents last week reinforce that we need to make sure every North Dakotan is safe – protestors, law enforcement, area landowners, and residents. The tribes should be able to exercise their First Amendment right peacefully and lawfully, and workers and law enforcement should be able to do their jobs safely. While most of the protestors were peaceful, any acts of violence put lives at risk. As part of a bipartisan effort with the federal delegation and governor, I’m continuing to push for more federal resources for law enforcement. At the same time, my staff and I have participated in numerous meetings and conversations with all sides to help find a way forward through open discussion.”