In the wake of Presidential Campaigns, Football, Celebrity Deaths, and the many other things that clog our lives for a brief period these days, a story out of North Dakota is gaining a bit of traction.
The issue is regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), that is being constructied from North Dakota, and goes through South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois. The goal for this pipeline is to create an easy way to transport roughly 470,000 barrels of oil from The Bakken and Three Forks production areas in North Dakota to major U.S. markets to support domestic demand.
The issue with the pipeline, or at least the one generating headlines, is that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has filed a complaint in court , suing the US Army Corps of Engineers (who approved the project and granted final permits this past July) stating the pipeline
“threatens the Tribe’s environmental and economic well-being, and would damage and destroy sites of great historic, religious, and cultural significance to the Tribe.”
There is a bit of an issue with this as advocates for the pipeline state the complaint is misleading, and that 100% of the affected landowners in North Dakota where part of the tribe lives, voluntarily signed easements allowing construction.
So we have one side that says this pipeline would be an asset to the country, allowing the United States to decrease reliance of foreign oil, and will allow the freeing up of railways to transport other commodities instead of the risky transportation of crude oil. On the other side we have the pipeline destroys burial sites, prayer sites, and artifacts, as well as a risk to the environment with possible leaks, greenhouse gas emissions, water contamination, etc.
So who is right? Well it is all a matter of perspective, but in the perspective of this opinionated writer, they are ALL wrong. Or at least they have all become wrong. Let me explain.
While I do understand historic sites, and being a lover of history and the things that have taken place in areas of the world, I am also a realist. Just because at one time an area of land used to belong to someone, does not mean generations later those people can lay claim to it again, especially if it legally doesn’t belong to them. We have had countless wars regarding this very simple fact, and frankly its ridiculous. I lost the house I grew up in during the Home crisis of the mid 2000’s, it doesn’t give me the right to lay claim on the current owners of that place, even though countless memories are in the walls.
It especially doesn’t give me the right to invade the now private property and then be surprised when they attack me for trespassing. I can’t use the poor me excuse as have been stated since the escalations of the protests on September 5th. Here are two articles covering it on both sides so I don’t get accused of bias. Article 1 Article 2
As far as the people constructing the pipeline go, they are assholes for almost instigating the fight, as they were allegedly “Bulldozing over ancient burial grounds” in front of protesters. I can’t in good conscience say that was a decent thing to do, even if they legally at this point have the right. Lets also face facts that no one looks at any oil company these days as anything but a cash register with no conscience. I’m a man with limited money, but I do understand business, so I get what they are doing, but I also understand how it comes across to the regular public.
On a separate mini rant though, I just want to remind people out there that oil isn’t just what gets pumped into your gas tanks. There are thousands of different products that are made from oil every single day that we use and take for granted. The tires on the car, plasitcs, medicines, clothes, electronics, the list goes on. So there is a small part of my brain that thinks the only people who should protest olil are those who live a completely oil free life, and can make signs from non oil based products, and walk to the area of protest instead of drive. It is kind of hypocritical to protest a slaughterhouse while eating a cheeseburger folks.
I also just want to point out that DAPL is trying to prevent a serious accident in transporting oil to happen like it did in 2013, resulting in the evacuation of Lac-Megnatic and claimed the lives of 47 people along with leveling the downtown area of that city. Read about it here.
So again, no, I don’t support either side really, they have both done dickhead moves that warrant shitty responses, no one is a hero here. Then again, one man’s Stalin is another man’s Gandhi depending on the perspective right?
For those who want to argue the points or opinions here, please do, I’m a man up for having my mind changed instead of going along with the river.