The Dakota Access Pipeline was the protest that made headlines around the world
In solidarity, Sioux tribal members gathered in North Dakota to protest alongside other tribal supporters. In fact over 1 million supporters joined this protest
The protest made headlines around the world in 2016, the Sioux and their allies tried to stop the construction of the controversial oil pipeline through the Dakotas, Iowa and Illinois.
Robert Brave Heart Eder, a member of the Lakota-Dakota Sioux Tribe, said that for them, this protest was about protecting their ancestors’ land.
“Our ancestors said all life was sacred and had to be treated with respect. And we have done that. We have done our part as American citizens. Don’t take that dream from our children!” Robert Brave Heart Eder
The protesters built a huge camp and protested for months, saying a spill could pollute drinking water and threaten a place deemed sacred.
However, the pipeline constructor, Operator Energy Transfer Partners said on its website that 99.98% of the pipeline was built on private land. They claimed that it does not enter the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. They also insisted that this was one of the safest pipelines ever.
But activists and tribal groups believed that the watershed that supports the reservation was at risk.
Donald Trump Does it Again
The Obama administration halted the project, but Donald Trump signed an executive order that allowed construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline soon after entering office.
The pipeline began operating in 2017. Then in what was deemed the safest pipeline ever, minor leaks were reported. This prompted further outcries from critics. But nothing was done.
Amidst all of this and to make matters worse, Energy Transfer Partners announced plans to nearly double the pipelines capacity in June 2019. The Standing Rock Sioux were ready to fight against this once more. A judge approved a petition for the tribe to participate in the November 13 hearing over the proposed expansion.
However, in a sad conclusion and despite the longstanding protests, on 19 February 2020, the three-member North Dakota Public Service Commission unanimously approved pipeline builder Energy Transfer Partners’ planned expansion to nearly double the number of barrels of crude oil pumped through the Dakota Access Pipeline per day.
Can We Do Something?
Is this fair?
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