Recently, there has been a lot of controversy over the protest in Standing Rock, North Dakota. The Dakota Access Pipeline is a 1,170 mile crude oil pipeline that will span from North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois. The Native Americans who live on the Sioux Reservation straddling the North and South Dakota border are fighting the pipeline.
They are protesting for multiple reasons. First, the Missouri River and Lake Oahe are their water sources and any oil spill puts their supply at risk. Secondly, the construction will dig up sacred burial land.
The company responsible for the pipeline project is Energy Transfer Partners. Their course of action is to transport crude oil to big oil companies like Sunoco. The pipeline will transport approximately 470,000 barrels of crude oil per day .
This isn’t the first place the company has tried to put the pipeline. This is one of three times that Army Corps have rerouted the DAPL. The company originally proposed to run the pipeline past North Dakota’s largest city and capital, Bismarck. That plan was quickly demolished by US Army Corp of Engineers.
The Dakota Access Pipeline has to be approved by The Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) before construction begins. They became the lead organization in control of making sure that any construction or other projects are in compliance of the Clean Water Act of 1972.
The Standing Rock Sioux says they weren’t consulted by the Army Corps when they were investigating the pipeline (meaning the Army did not reach out to the Sioux in regards to the pipeline). Laws were made in the United States in the past hundred years to take in account where Native Americans live now.
Native Americans have to be consulted before anything is dug up where they once lived. Army Corps are to take this into account during any construction project.
There have been protests from Standing Rock all the way Speedway Headquarters in Enon, Ohio. People are traveling half-way across the country to join the Standing Rock Sioux.
The protests have gotten to the point that police are in riot gear as well as using pepper spray, bean bag rounds (a baton round fired as a shotgun round), firebombs (a bomb designed to damage a target through the use of fire), taser guns, rubber bullets, tear gas, and concussion grenades (used to temporarily disorient an enemy’s senses) against peaceful protesters resulting in riots and walls of people refusing to be moved by the police.
The US Army Corps of Engineers finally announced that they will not be granting the right to cross Lake Oahe for the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline on December 4th, 2016 after the Indians protested for nine months. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe hailed it a “historic decision”.
The announcement was celebrated by those gathered at the protest sites, including 2,000 U.S military veterans that joined the protests on December 2nd. Joining in the celebration including music and fireworks.
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