There’s a lot of hullabaloo on Facebook right now concerning the Dakota Access Pipeline, a project being pushed forward by Energy Transfer Partners, a company out of Texas. A lot of people have been supporting the protesters by checking in electronically at the Standing Rock Reservation. There’s also a lot of people who’ve been vocal supporters of the pipeline, saying it doesn’t even cross their reservation.
A screenshot touched up with MS Paint. Seems legit.
The people at Standing Rock Reservation have legitimate concerns. The pipeline crosses only half a mile from the reservation, and a spill could have a negative impact on their drinking water.
The biggest problem with the pipeline isn’t the fact that it’s a pipeline. Overall, pipelines are far safer and more effective than other methods of transportation, like trucks and train. The huge issue with the Dakota Pipeline is how they went about getting permits for the project. They used the Permit 12 process, which treats the pipeline as a bunch of small construction sites instead of the pipeline it is. Small construction projects are exempt from the environmental review required by the Clean Water Act. This is a major problem, as the project would have to stay under the radar, avoiding attention in order to escape review. The moment the people at Standing Rock voiced their concerns should have been the exact moment the Energy Transfer Partners should have tipped their hats, bid them good day, and started looking for a better spot to build a pipeline.
Did they do that? No, of course not. They brought out the tear gas, the dogs, got dressed like they were going to war. Which, hey, totally would have worked in the years prior to having everyone a high definition camera in their pockets at all times. Thanks to social media, something that would have been swept under the rug is now gaining the attention of some prominent folks. Bernie Sanders, currently one the most popular politicians in America right now, has writen a letter to Obama, hoping to sway the President to veto the pipeline the same way he did with the
I’ve worked in Oil and Gas. I have a lot of friends who work in Oil and Gas, shit, I’ve been living in Alberta for over a decade and a half. A lot of people have been affected here with the drop in gas prices. The hard truth is, though, if a community feels that a project could have a negative impact on their lives, especially when it comes to their drinking water, they have absolutely every right to vocally protest and do everything in their power to prevent the construction of the project. And for fuck sakes, do the proper environmental reviews the law requires. We have these laws in place for a reason. The reason being companies don’t give a shit about people, the environment, or the future. Not because they’re full of monsters, but because companies are legally bond to make as much money for shareholders as possible. If the cheapest way to get crude oil for one spot to another was to dump it straight into a river and pick it up downstream, they would exactly that.
Not everyone is against having a pipeline on their property. We live in the goddamn information age. Why isn’t there a database of people who’d love to make some extra scratch by having a pipeline on their land? See who’s cool with hosting an oil link, map it out, and built the pipeline there. Don’t bully a bunch of people on a goddamn reserve. With some of the shit being said, I’m surprised the Morton County Sheriffs aren’t gathering smallpox encrusted blankets.
The Illustrious Mr. Charlton
p.s. Oil and Gas people, you’re not the ‘little guy’ in these equations. Stop acting like a bunch of whiny idiots every time someone doesn’t want a pipeline in their area. Every body is entitled to NIMBY.