The Standing Rock-Sioux Tribe has been in the midst of a difficult protest, as a company, Dallas-Based Energy Transfer Partners, has been attempting to build a large pipeline that would conflict with sacred grounds and the reservation’s entire water supply.
Ever since the Bakken/North Dakota pipeline issue came into light, there have been protesters at the mouth of the pipeline. These protesters are mostly Natives of The Standing Rock-Sioux tribe and there is a slight outside influence from activists that believe the pipeline will do damage to the environment. The protesters have been physically making a blockade with their bodies in order to halt production. Mr. Kahl, a history teacher at SLVHS stated, “ There won’t always be oil so I understand where our government is coming from by trying to be self-sufficient, but at the same time I fully support all the protesters because land and water are more important to the human race.” There was also a 2,000-mile relay run all the way to the White House to stop the pipeline progress.
The pipeline is supposed to extend from North Dakota all the way down to Nebraska, which mostly goes through private farmland and ancestral Native American land. This could also affect any bodies of water that the pipeline would cross. In the last month, the Standing Rock Sioux asked the federal court for a preliminary injunction halting build-out as they sue U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over the permits it gave to the developers late last month.
The pipeline would be helpful to our economy by providing and transferring 570,000 barrels of fracked oil from North Dakota all the way to Patoka, Illinois, which supporters argue could potentially push the United States closer to being a self-sufficient country. However, there are many environmental problems- including the large amounts of fracking it would entail- which is very harmful to water sources and the terrain around it. Environmentalists and critics have stated that building this pipeline would increase the risk of oil spills in the United States and if these oil spills were to happen, they would mostly affect drinking water and farms that could directly affect lives. North Dakota residents and companies are providing economic help for the protest and aid in getting the lawsuit against U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to the federal court.
As the protest happens in North Dakota, four other states have begun the construction of the Bakken pipeline, despite criticism. The Native American tribes involved claim that they only wish to to be heard by the government for once and this is yet another example of this not happening. No current actions have been taken in North Dakota and the residents of the Standing Rock-Sioux Tribe are still struggling to keep the pipeline out of their reservation.
By Remi Dirck