Standing Rock: Dakota Access Pipeline


Ayni Mohamoud, Editor

Recently in the news, protests continue in the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota. The reservation was threatened by the Dakota Access, a subsidiary for Energy Transfer Partners, who planned on building a 3.8 billion dollars, 1,172 mile long pipeline extending through North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois, according to Energy Transfer Partners.

The pipeline will enable domestically- produced light sweet crude oil from North Dakota to reach major refining markets in a more direct, cost-effective, safer and environmentally responsible manner. The pipeline will also reduce the current use of rail and truck transportation to move Bakken crude oil to major U.S. markets to support domestic demand, reported Energy Transfer Partners.

The announcement of the pipeline sparked tension between the Sioux people of the reservation and the Dakota Access.

“The Standing Rock Sioux and other tribal nations claimed, with the support of environmentalist groups, that the pipeline would damage their environment and cultural sites”, reported the Washington Post.

The pipeline would also contaminate the water around the reservation and pollute the air, as well as bother ancestral sites and historic sites.

As soon as news spread, many environmentalist, other tribes, and even celebrities came together to stand with the Sioux people and fight the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

Despite the terrible conditions including harsh cold weather and limited amount of food and water, the protestors had to endure, the New York Times said, “law enforcement officials used water to repel protesters in below-freezing weather, attracting more attention to the conflict.”

From as early as Sept. 2016 until Dec. 2016 hundreds of protesters stood their ground that they rightfully own and are obligated to protect.

Many people have also encouraged the media to give President Obama the message of how disrespectful, dangerous, and wrong the DAPL is.

This isn’t the first time that the U.S. has interrupted Sioux sacred land. The timeline of the battles between native Americans and the government is a long one.

According to CNN News, “It’s no secret that the United States has battled Native Americans throughout history, taking tribes’ lands and forcing them into other areas. They’ve been pushed out West, to the desert, to badlands, to desolate places, Towell says.”

As of this week, the DAPL has been shut down. On December 4, 2016 USA Today reported “Cheers and celebration erupt at the Oceti Sakowin Camp on news that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied an easement allowing the pipeline to cross Lake Oahe, effectively halting work on the pipeline.”

With this new decision, the Standing Rock reserve is safe from the dangers of the pipeline and the protesting hopefully will end.

PC: New York Times