Why is the tribe protesting the pipeline?
The Dakota access pipeline is being built right now. It will run through North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. The main problem at hand is that it is running through the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s water source, and this is a sacred land to the tribe. According to Alex Najda from St. Ambrose University's paper The Buzz, “a Native American tribe located in the proposed route of the oil, the pipeline will destroy their cultural heritage and history, as well as their drinking water.” This is one reason that the tribe has been protesting the building of this pipeline because they do not want their property to be ruined so that oil can be transported to these places. They believe that their land is sacred and should not be stained by an industrial pipe. Next a video made by Vox media states that pipeline leaks have gone up by 60% since 2009. The reason the tribe was not in favor of this build was because they did not want their water source to be contaminated by oil but it is a possibility. These past situations have led them to believe that it could happen again. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe does not want the pipeline to be built because they are afraid of destruction of property and contamination of water. The struggle for compromise was arising.
Caption: Protesters wanting the Dakota Access Pipeline not to pass in order to keep the environment safe.
Will the Pipeline company and the Tribe make a compromise?
There is tension between the two sides of this Pipeline. The company is in favor of it and the Tribe is against it. The company is being pushed to make a compromise with the tribe. According to a writer from Fortune “the Army Corps of Engineers agree to an environmental review of the project.” Here this author has informed us that the company and government is coming forward and is trying to prove and show that the pipeline is safe and is a good option. They want to prove to the Tribe first so that they won’t have to deal with a disagreement and have doubts in the minds of the people. Also the tribe has made attempts to compromise, as stated here by the Congressional Digest “Tribe members are asking protesters to leave their land.” The tribe has began to meet the company/ government halfway and make the protesters stop creating more problems than needed as well as hearing out the government and allowing them to try to prove this is a positive thing. In conclusion the company/government and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe are attempting to make a compromise to try and get something done. Another concern though, is wether or not the pipeline would be safe.
Caption: A depiction of what the Pipeline could look like.
Is the Pipeline safe or will it destroy their water source?
The big debate of the building of this pipeline has to do with the affects it could have on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s water source. So for this to be paced it needs to be very safe. According to Dakota Access Pipeline Facts “The pipeline doesn’t affect the water because the tribe’s water inlet will be moving 70 miles from the pipeline by early 2017.” So the way the water that the tribe uses in their everyday lives gets to the reservation is going to be moved so that if there was a leak in the pipe, it would have little to know chance of destroying the water. Also in a video created by Vox media the narrator states that the company said, “that they are far exceeding the safety standards that the government set.” Here the company is attempting to reassure the government and the people that live off this water that they are taking precautionary measures to make sure that this specific pipeline is so much greater that it cannot fail. To draw this all back the water that is being brought from the water source is being moved and the company is saying that they are going past what they are regulated to do in order to make it safe. The question is what is the governments role in all of this?
Caption: I'm walking on a pipeline.
How is the government playing a part in the building of this pipeline?
Although there are two main sides of this pipeline, the company building it and the Tribe, there is another side that is playing a part in this, which is the government. According to a writer from the Bismarck Tribune “Industrial Commission, which will regulate oil and gas development of the 612 miles of pipeline, sent a letter supporting the pipeline to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.” Here the government is saying that they have trust in this company that they will do their job and make sure that this whole pipeline will be transporting the crude oil safely with no leaks or malfunctions. Next according to Vox media “Federal agencies must consult with the Tribes before making decisions on land.” This shows that the Government and their different agencies have to be involved because if they do not meet with the Tribe and show them what they are planning on doing they will be breaking the law. The government must be involved and play a part in this in order to keep it safe and keep the law. The governments role hopefully will help to make sure that this pipeline is safer than past ones.
Caption: Protesters again attempting to get the message out that this Pipeline isn't welcome.
What makes the Dakota Access Pipeline safer than others?
The company's main point throughout this attempt to get the tribe to allow them to build it because it is safer than other pipelines in the past. According to an article written by Dakota Access, “The Dakota pipeline will be 95 feet under the river bed.” One reason that the pipeline could be safer is because it is going well beneath the tribes water source. So in the case of a leak they wouldn’t have to worry as much about the water being contaminated because of the depths of the pipes. Next according to an article from Fortune, Dakota Access was designed with tremendous safety factors and state of the art construction techniques and redundancies, including construction and engineering technology that meet or exceed all safety and environmental regulations.” The pipeline is said to have advancements greater than past pipelines. These safety factors are better than what they are supposed to be, or required to do which would make it safer than others. The pipeline is much safer because of its placement underneath the river bed and the safety features that have been given to it.
Caption: A slogan for the opposers of the Pipeline.