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Oil and water- and the Standing Rock Sioux- don’t mix

Emmanuel Asher, World at a Glance Editor

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Standing Rock Sioux, along with other Native Americans, protest the Dakota Access Pipeline. Protesters say that the pipeline contributes to more man-made climate change

The Dakota Access Pipeline is a 1,172 underground oil pipeline starting in Stanley, North Dakota and ends in Patoka, Illinois at an oil tank farm. It is designed to more effectively transport crude oil and proponents say it will free up railroads.

Currently the pipeline costs a total of $3.7 billion and is expected to create 40 permanent jobs and 8,200 to 12,000 temporary jobs. Projections show that the pipeline will carry 450,000 barrels of oil a day.

The pipeline has been met with opposition from farmers to landowners and Native Americans such as the Standing Rock Sioux. Farmers are concerned on the pipeline’s disturbance on the land causing soil erosion and possibly environmental problems.

Landowners are concerned about implications of the pipeline. Eminent domain has been used to compensate land owners for long term use of their land. Eminent domain is the right for the government to buy private property for the public good without the property being for sale.

Conservation groups also worry about safety and what the possible impacts will be on water quality, air quality, and wildlife should the pipeline break.

Sioux tribes say that the pipeline threatens the tribes environmental and economic well being. There have also been concerns that the pipeline will destroy sites of religious, historic, and cultural grounds. In addition, the pipeline runs through the Missouri River which is the tribe’s only water source.

Protests at the construction sites in North Dakota began in spring 2016 and have attracted indigenous people from around the United states.

Police officers have found construction equipment vandalized and spray painted. The protests sometimes turn violent with protesters setting fire to vehicles and equipment. Over 400 arrests have currently been made.

There is currently a possibility that President-elect Donald Trump will approve of the Dakota Access Pipeline, but he has made no comments on what he plans to do with the pipeline. The pipeline is 85% complete.

Alaska Natives have mixed views on the pipeline with some in support of the pipeline due to our oil based economy in Alaska. Other Alaska Natives have shown support for the Standing Rock Sioux and say that Native American voices are not being heard.

This is an issue that Warrior Nation should pay attention to because of Alaska’s history with oil, and personal opinions supporting or not supporting the Dakota Access Pipeline.

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