The Dakota Access Pipeline, a controversial project that has drawn the ire of the Standing Rock Sioux and Native American tribes across the nation, has a powerful new opponent: former Vice President Al Gore.


The project aims to connect the shale oil being developed in the Bakken Formation in North and South Dakota to energy markets in the eastern United States. It has drawn fierce opposition from the Standing Rock Sioux, because the project is routed through lands that have historically belonged to the tribe. They are especially concerned that the project might disrupt cultural treasures like burial sites.


In response to ongoing protests by the tribe and allies who have traveled to the area, the Obama administration has temporarily halted permitting on some portions of the pipeline route and ordered the United States Army Corps of Engineers to conduct more environmental assessments.


Gore’s concerns stem from a mix of sympathy with the cultural concerns raised by Native Americans and a desire to prevent additional drilling for fossil fuels that the pipeline might encourage.


“The non-violent resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline is also one of the frontline struggles that collectively mark a turning point in the decision by humanity to turn away from the destructive path we have been following and aim instead toward a clean energy future for all,” Gore wrote in a statement on his website.


According to The Hill, Gore is also worried about the potential for violence as protests intensify.


“We have witnessed inspiring and brave acts by Native Americans and their allies who are defending and trying to protect their sacred sites and the safety of their sole source of water,” Gore said.


Categories: Dakota Access Pipeline