Challenging Environmentally Destructive Dakota Access Pipeline Construction
by Stephen Lendman
If completed, 450,000 barrels of fracked oil will be delivered through the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) daily over 1,168 miles - through North and South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois.
It’ll environmentally damage sacred Standing Rock Sioux Tribe ancestral lands, communities, farmland, wildlife habitat, and other sensitive areas.
Certain spills will pollute the landscape and drinking water, harming public health and well-being. Construction was authorized without public involvement and adequate environmental review.
Following Trump’s election, Greenpeace issued a statement, saying “President Obama still has the ultimate say in deciding whether the Dakota Access pipeline moves forward, and water protectors and allies will continue to fight to ensure it is defeated quickly.”
“There is no doubt that Donald Trump poses an immediate threat to our climate and will try to fast track this and other fossil fuel projects across the country.”
“This is all the more reason for President Obama to step in immediately to stop the pipeline once and for all. We will not allow Donald Trump to set back all of the progress we have made on climate.”
“We will not let his administration’s cynical dismissal of the biggest challenge of our time deter us from standing up ferociously against the influence of the fossil fuel industry.”
Over 25 environmental and other organizations wrote Nigel Beck, Equator Principles Association chair, representing large banking and other investors financing DAPL, saying in part:
“The world is closely watching how all actors involved will deal with the situation, including the banks that provide financial support to the project.”
The letter urged an “immediate halt to the construction of the pipeline and all associated structures, until all outstanding issues are resolved to the full satisfaction of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.”
On Tuesday, nearly 200 anti-DAPL protests occurred nationwide, a Day of Action, calling for the project to be halted.
According to Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) spokesman Dallas Goldtooth, “(t)he purpose is to elevate and encourage the Army Corps to exert its power to stop this pipeline.”
On Monday, the Interior Department Department delayed deciding on whether to grant an easement for tunnel construction under Lake Oahe, a vital area water resource.
Energy Transfer Partners seeks it, the main DAPL backer. According to Phillips 66, a pipeline investor, construction is 85% completed, the remaining portion to traverse Standing Rock Sioux Tribal land and tunnel construction beneath Lake Oahe.
A November 15 #NoDAPL Day of Action memo said “(t)he Army Corps fast-tracked the Dakota Access Pipeline without proper consultation, and as a result, bulldozers are approaching Standing Rock as we speak.”
“But with coordinated, massive demonstrations across the country, we’ll make it clear that this powerful movement will not allow the sacrifice of Indigenous rights, our water, or our climate.”
Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren said he’s “100%” certain about Trump OKing the pipeline’s completion. “We will get this easement, and we will complete our project,” he added.
The company’s stock price increased 15% in value the day after Trump’s election. His energy plan calls for more fossil fuel production, more fracking and fewer regulations - assuring greater environmental damage than already.
Lucas Oil founder Forrest Lucas and “drill, baby, drill” former Alaska governor/John McCain 2008 running Sarah Palin are on Trump’s short list for interior secretary.
The DAPL battle is far from over, perhaps boiling over once Trump authorizes it. He vowed to rescind Obama’s climate policies and approve Keystone XL pipeline construction, another hugely controversial project, risking enormous environmental damage.
If approved, it’ll traverse 1,661 miles from Alberta, Canada to Port Arthur, TX - transporting toxic tar sands oil from Western Canada to refineries on America’s Gulf coast.
It’ll be situated on environmentally sensitive land in six states, affecing waterways and the Ogallala Aquifer, one of the world’s largest, supplying about 30% of America’s irrigation ground water.
Big Oil wants it. So does Trump. From all indications, he’s no friend of the earth.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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