The Standing Rock Sioux tribe has opposed the Dakota Access Pipeline since first learning about the plans in 2014. But it’s only been in recent months that the issue has gained national attention, as thousands of protesters, including many Native Americans, have gathered in North Dakota in attempt to block the 1,200mile project, and with both supporters and opponents vowing to fight through the harsh North Dakota winter, the battle shows no signs of ending anytime soon.
The pipeline is to be built by Texas, based Energy Transfer Partners and is designed to transport as many as 570,000 barrels of crude oil daily from North Dakota to Illinois. The pipeline would be a key conduit connecting oil wells in the state’s Bakken Shale, where the development of fracking has opened billions of gallons of new oil to recovery, to other valuable consumer markets, including the Gulf Coast, Midwest and East Coast. The nearly $4 billion project was first proposed in 2014 with an anticipated completion of this year.
The pipeline would travel underneath the Missouri River, the primary drinking water source for the Standing Rock Sioux, a tribe of around 10,000 with a reservation in the central part of North and South Dakota. Builders of the pipeline insist that they have taken extraordinary measures to safeguard against disaster, but opponents point out that even the safest pipelines can leak. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has reported more than 3,300 incidents of leaks and ruptures at oil and gas pipelines since 2010. And even the smallest spill could damage the tribe’s water supply. The Standing Rock Sioux also argue that the pipeline traverses a sacred burial ground. And while the land being used for the pipeline is not technically on its reservation, tribal leaders argue that the federal government did not adequately engage the Standing Rock Sioux during the permitting process, a requirement under federal law.
Police have used pepper spray, rubber bullets and concussion cannons, not only on the peaceful protesters (water protectors) but on the media as well. Social media is at target because of all the pictures, and videos being posted all over the internet.The media organization have told us (media) to hide our media pass when we see any kind of law enforcement because we are the number ones to be targeted! Winsome Thomas the radio show host from Native Dual was push into a bus while heading back to her vehicle! she explained to the officer that she was heading back to her car, but he was just not having it! he wanted her to walk faster, and did not let her out of his sight until she got in the car! Not only was winsome pushed, several media like CNN, and Windy City Underground staff were pepper sprayed including Anabel Garcia from the Diva show! We really do hope this will end soon for everyones benefit, and lets not forget that water is LIFE!