Proponents of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline say the Native American tribe protesting the project isn’t all that hung up on whether the pipeline will use sacred land, and is really just looking for a bigger cut of the revenue.

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe has claimed that the project has encroached on its land, damaged sacred sites and would potentially harm a major source of their drinking water by going under Lake Oahe.

Sources privy to the discussions say a number of offers had been made to the tribe, including the installation of water quality sensors, construction of a fresh water storage facility to store water in case of a pipeline leak, and other means of ensuring water quality. The developers also offered to create a rapid response team to respond to environmental accidents, including emergency vehicles provided to Standing Rock Tribal members, according to an email from one source involved in the discussions.

But what continued to throw a wall up in the discussions was the tribe’s demand to receive a fee for shipping the oil.

“Even though the pipeline never crosses the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, Energy Transfer Partners has attempted to be a good neighbor by offering water testing and monitoring, as well as significant community support to the tribe,” the source said. “But time and again the tribe rebuffed or ignored the company’s offers demanding, instead, a toll on the crude that passed through the pipeline, an ultimatum that showed the tribe’s true desire — easy money.”

The company wouldn’t agree to the condition, but offered to pay for infrastructure improvements on the reservation prioritized by the tribe. The company even purchased a 7,600-acre property called the Cannonball Ranch that is adjacent to the reservation, offering it to the tribe as part of a settlement proposal, say sources privy to the talks.

The talks occurred in the run-up to the heightened protests and amid the two lawsuits that were brought by the tribe in an effort to reroute or block continued construction of the 1,200-mile project.

A spokesman for the tribe did not respond to a request for comment.

Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren said Friday that they would not be rerouted. “There’s not another way,” he said. “We’re building at that location.”

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The Obama administration announced it would be conducting a more thorough review of the tribe’s concerns, halting the project indefinitely despite two court rulings that said the Army Corps of Engineers’ environmental studies on the project were adequate and it could move forward.

Kelcy on Friday also offered to meet with tribal chairman Dave Archambault to allay the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s concerns one last time that building near its reservation would not harm its drinking water supply, reported the Associated Press.

Archambault brushed off the meeting, saying, “We already know what he’s going to say — that this is the cleanest, safest pipeline ever.”

The chairman said, “what he doesn’t know is that this is still an issue for Standing Rock and all indigenous people.”

The pipeline company is currently asking the district court in Washington to order the Army Corps of Engineers to allow the project to move ahead.

Obama blames messaging, bad luck, 'our system'

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President Obama on Sunday refused to blame Hillary Clinton for the Democrats’ failure to win the White House or take back the House or Senate, and instead said improved messaging and better luck will help Democrats in future years.

Several pundits have blamed Democratic losses on Clinton, since 2 million fewer Democratic voters went to the polls this year compared to Obama’s last election in 2012. But Obama didn’t pin the blame on Clinton, and instead blamed Democratic messaging.

“Democrats do have to do some thinking about how do we make sure that the message we have is received effectively and results in winning elections,” Obama said Sunday in Lima, Peru.

11/21/16 9:11 AM

Protesters from all over the country have joined the tribe in opposing the project along with other tribes, members of Congress, members of the Hollywood community and, before the election, even some politicians running for the highest office in the land.

Climate change activists are fighting the pipeline as part of the anti-fossil fuel movement called “Keep It In The Ground” that looks to end the use of oil in favor of renewable energy.

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