Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Injustice of the Dakota Access Pipeline



It is fair to say that the injustice presented by the Dakota Access pipeline is the most prominent example of big oil versus our most cherished communities today. Even though the Obama administration halted the construction of the pipeline for now, damage had already been done.

The pipeline was originally proposed to go through Bismarck, the capital of North Dakota, but was rerouted to go through the Standing Rock Sioux tribal sacred grounds south of the capital. This was done because an oil spill near the capital would endanger the water supply near the capital, and it was seen as posing less potential damage in the case of a spill, to move the pipeline route near the tribal reservation.

The Army Corps of Engineers designated tribal land as "needed" for shipping crude oil through the Dakotas to Illinois. The land has been the site of construction of the Dakota Access pipeline that began to take place, and subsequently was stopped by the Obama administration, this September. 


The Standing Rock Sioux Reservation is land west of the Missouri River in South Dakota (standingrock.org/history). A portion of this Native American land in South Dakota was designated for the pipeline, without consent from the Standing Rock Sioux, and without yielding to the concerns of the EPA and two other federal agencies.
"The EPA, the Department of the Interior and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation echoed those concerns [of the tribe] in public comments on the Army Corps' draft environmental assessment." dakota-access-pipeline-standing-rock-sioux-army-corps-engineers-approval-environment

Prior to the Obama administration's actions to stop the pipeline, bulldozers had already begun to go over the tribe's sacred ground in the area. This is damage done to the Native American's land already.
"Dakota Access Pipeline and Energy Transfer Partners brazenly used bulldozers to destroy our burial sites, prayer sites and culturally significant artifacts," Tribal Chairman David Archambault II said. 
"They did this on a holiday weekend, one day after we filed court papers identifying these sacred sites. The desecration of these ancient places has already caused the Standing Rock Sioux irreparable harm. We're asking the court to halt this path of destruction."full story
We need clean energy not more dirty fossil fuel infrastructure and energy, and this pipeline would provide nothing but damage to this land, endanger the water in the Missouri River, on which the surrounding population depends, and further the destruction brought by climate change. People in Washington, including politicians and lobbyists, need to take action to get the stay on the Clean Power Plan lifted, and stop construction for fossil fuels now. 
Clean energy is the way of the future, providing more tenable jobs and a more viable, vibrant future. Fossil fuel infrastructure will soon be outdated, as the clean energy revolution reaches full steam. This pipeline and all proposed pipelines show humanity the route backwards, not forwards. Clean energy is the wave of the future, not fossil fuels. renewables-replace-fossil-fuels
Oil pipelines already scar the earth with their antiquated, outdated means to provide humanity with energy. Native Americans have used renewable energy sources for centuries, thousands of years even, and it's up to for the rest of the human population on the earth to catch up. Native Americans have lived in harmony with nature successfully for millennia
"Renewable energy – low-tech or high, large-scale or small – harnesses the natural forces upon which much of traditional Native American culture revolves, Henry Red Cloud, a pioneering Native American renewable energy advocate and entrepreneur, points out. Akin to solar, wind, hydro, biomass and geothermal energy, 'Our language, our song, our cultural traditions are based on the Sun, the winds, the Earth and its waters,' Red Cloud, a descendant of Lakota-Northern Cheyenne chiefs, said." environmental-justice/native-americans-renewable-energy-environmental-justice/

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