Friday, September 09, 2016

Pipelines, Pipe Bombs And Protests-- Standing Rock, North Dakota


- by Tracy B. Ann

Last Saturday, security for the Dakota Access pipeline used mace and dogs to attack peaceful Native American protesters from Standing Rock Reservation.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is fighting on many fronts to stop this pipeline from coming so near their land.. Through legal means they are seeking an injunction, through media they are seeking support for advocacy. They are marching in the streets and making their voices heard.

It's a complicated and convoluted story that I can barely begin to comprehend, so let me just lay out the little that I do understand. The application that Energy Transfers Partners submitted to build this pipeline is 800 pages long. I doubt anyone read the whole thing.

"Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners will build, own and operate the proposed $3.78 billion Dakota Access Pipeline and plans to transport up to 570,000 barrels of crude oil fracked from the Bakken oil fields across four states to a market hub in Illinois. The pipeline—already facing widespread opposition by a coalition of farmers, ranchers and environmental groups—will cross 209 rivers, creeks and tributaries, according to Dakota Access, LLC."

Marvin Nelson, state Rep for the 9th district in ND, and a candidate running for Governor, endorsed by Blue America, said it would probably be "hard to find someone who hadn't dropped the ball" in the approval process.

Problems from legal notices not being given, to engineers not consulting the Source Water Protection Program; a regulatory group that is supposed to keep water safe. "They are the ones charged with this task, it shouldn't have to be the public's job."

The route for the pipeline doesn't make sense either. It goes through protected water areas. There were other paths it could have taken that would not have been in protected areas, so why not put it there?

As Marvin said "It doesn't take a historian to know that this part of the Cannonball River area was a Native American burial ground."

This protest has been going on for some time. On Friday, a burial site was found. Legal steps were immediately taken to stop further bulldozing; which should have been stopped long enough for the historical experts to come and investigate. Instead, Saturday morning, the pipeline company stopped working where they had been and skipped ahead 10 to 12 miles to bulldoze the burial site; which is a felony if done knowingly. This is when the protesters moved in to physically block the bulldozers.

Chase Iron Eyes, a candidate for the at-large congressional seat in ND, lives on Standing Rock Reservation. He says: "It's pretty shameful that North Dakota elected leadership isn't doing their part to mediate the greatest tribal event since Wounded Knee. They are not engaging tribal leadership, have set up road blocks, declared states of emergency, and imposed economic sanctions."
Chase Iron Eyes graduated from the University of North Dakota earning a bachelor’s degree in 2000 with a double major in Political Science and Native American Studies. Chase finished his legal training at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 2007.

Having served as in-house counsel to various Tribal Nations in the Northern Plains since gaining admission to the South Dakota Bar, he went into private practice in 2011."

Iron Eyes drives through a road block every day to go to work. The local media is portraying the protesters as armed agitators, some even suggesting they have pipe bombs. The protesters at Standing Rock are very aware of public perception and are determined to protest peacefully.

Chase says "the media and leadership of North Dakota don't seem to be aware of how deeply committed the Standing Rock Sioux tribe is. They aren't going anywhere anytime soon."
Marvin Nelson echoed that. After visiting the camp the protesters have set up, he said, "the protest was totally peaceful and the resolve of the people of Standing Rock was impressive. The current Governor is trying to ignore the Sioux Tribe, but they are not going away."

Seems like this would be a good time to help some of the leadership of North Dakota government go away by helping elect Chase Iron Eyes as the at-large Congressman and Marvin Nelson as the new Governor.

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At 11:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read the rather remarkable joint statement, linked below, by three federal agencies immediately after a District Court ruled against the Standing Rock Sioux. I can't remember anything quite like it. It's a resounding momentary victory but, let's be real, it finishes nothing. Now is the time to really lend support. Donate at these sites:
3) credstonecamp

"Joint Statement from the Department of Justice, the Department of the Army and the Department of the Interior Regarding Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers"
"The Army will not authorize constructing the Dakota Access pipeline on Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe until it can determine whether it will need to reconsider any of its previous decisions regarding the Lake Oahe site under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) or other federal laws. Therefore, construction of the pipeline on Army Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe will not go forward at this time. The Army will move expeditiously to make this determination, as everyone involved — including the pipeline company and its workers — deserves a clear and timely resolution. In the interim, we request that the pipeline company voluntarily pause all construction activity within 20 miles east or west of Lake Oahe."

John Puma

At 11:38 AM, Blogger Tracy B Ann said...

Well, yes, I do think supporting the protesters in any way possible is great. The long term answer for me; the best way of supporting the folks on Standing Rock Reservation that I can think of, is to elect legislators and regulators who also support the Reservation.

At 6:11 AM, Blogger mattramzzz... said...

Why don't they ship the oil by truck or rail? Obviously, if its wanted, they'll get it transported.

At 10:00 AM, Blogger Tracy B Ann said...

Right now it is shipped by rail. Very loud fast trains that pass every 20 minutes. They would increase with this extra amount of oil. City folk don't like to hear the trains.
No one cares what the Native Americans like or dislike.
I can't imagine how many extra trucks it would take and both trucks and trains are more dangerous that pipelines even. (They don't leak, they explode.)
We need legislation that provides long term solutions; a decrease of oil dependency, increased use of alternative energy, and safer pipelines. We get that by electing progressive Democrats.


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