Monday, November 28, 2016


So if I've got this right (and please tell me if I don't), the people of Bismarck, North Dakota objected to the planned route of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) out of concerns that it might affect their water supply, so it was rerouted through the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. 

When the various Sioux tribes residing within the reservation expressed similar concerns about water quality, as well as claims about tribal sovereignty, self-determination, and quality of life, and construction workers went ahead anyway and bulldozed a section of land that contained documented historic and sacred sites, protesters encountered attack dogs and a militarized police that most recently used water cannons on protesters in sub-freezing temperatures, destroying one woman's arm.  

Apparently, if you're white (Bismarck is 92.4% white) and don't want the pipeline - no problem, it will be rerouted for you.  If you're Native American and don't want the pipeline, then there's going to be trouble.

Please tell me how this is just, how this is fair, how this is remotely democratic, how this is even legal. Hard mode:  tell me how this is compassionate.

Oh, by the way -  DAPL is a joint partnership between Dakota Access, LLC, a fully owned subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners LP, and Phillips 66.  According to federal disclosure forms filed in May 2016, Donald Trump, who well may have the final say on whether or not the pipeline is completed and where it will be routed, holds between $15,000 and $50,000 in stock in Energy Transfer Partners and between $100,000 and $250,000 in Phillips 66. 

Trump stands to profit by the pipeline being completed, creating a clear conflict of interest that the senior Democrat on the Public Resources Committee, Raul Grijalva, has called "disturbing." 

But wait, there's more:  Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren contributed $103,000 to the Trump campaign.  

1 comment:

Kayla Baumgartner said...

The treatment by police of innocent protestors astonishes me. The use of dogs, pepper spray, rubber bullets, and even water cannons in freezing weather is something that I have a hard time believing anyone could support. I'd also like to point out that I do not necessarily support the construction of the pipeline.
That being said, there are a couple details you should also note. State regulators did not even evaluate the Bismarck route, as Dakota Access had already chosen the route that is currently being debated when they proposed their plan.
The Missouri route was chosen, yes, partially because the Bismarck route would have been a much more high-risk area in the event of a spill; it could have affected municipal supply wells. But it also wasn't proposed simply because it would have been a longer and more inconvenient route. It would have required eleven additional miles of pipeline, and would have crossed several more roads, wetlands, and other bodies of water. Another inconvenience would have been the requirement, put in place by the North Dakota Public Service Commission, to stay over five hundred feet away from houses.
For all of these reasons, the Dakota Access decided on the Missouri route. It was more convenient and efficient. The Bismarck route was last considered by DA in 2014. While other aspects of the pipeline are disagreeable, I'm not sure it's fair to say that they responded only because of the complaints of white Bismarck residents that their water supply might be affected. As previously stated, it seems that though the possible effects on the municipal water supply may have been a small factor, the main reasoning behind the choice was an effort to save time and money.
That being said, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and other tribes and activists who participated have not been treated appropriately or with the respect they deserve. Their efforts to peacefully protest were countered with violence, and that, if nothing else, should certainly be addressed and rectified.