Monday, September 5, 2016


“You can live without oil, you can live without money, but you can’t live without water,” Archambault told KFYR TV of Bismarck.

What is the Dakota Access Pipeline? It is a pipeline 1,170 miles long from North Dakota to Illinois. The purpose of it is to deliver 570,000 barrels of oil a day. It is similar to the Keystone XL project, but is shorter and won't deliver as much oil.

The Keystone XL required presidential approval because it crossed the border between Canada and the US. The company Energy Transfer Partners has already been granted most of the permits and begun clearing the ground along the route of the pipeline. Even though the oil from Alberta, Canada that has been so long protested was supposed to have been stopped, it is going to be transferred through this pipeline. 

Energy Transfer Partners is in a political and legal battle with The Standing Rock Sioux and other protestors over the Dakota Access Pipeline. The Native Americans are concerned about the environmental impact of the pipeline on their only source of water. They say the US Army Corps of Engineers didn’t give adequate opportunities to assess the pipeline’s impact on cultural sites and potential environmental effects of a spill and collect feedback from the tribe.

Pipeline Threatens Native American Tribe's Water

Will You Stand With The Indigenous People Against The Dakota Pipeline? (w/Guest: Dave Archambault)

The pipeline does not go directly through the Standing Rock tribal land. But it would cross the Missouri River a few hundred feet upstream from the border of the reservation, and less than a mile from Cannon Ball. Beyond that crossing point, the Missouri River serves as the eastern border of the reservation. Because of this, the quality of water in the river is vitally important to the health and well-being and prosperity of the tribe. It is their water supply.

Tribal leaders say that there was originally another proposed crossing for the pipeline and the people in that community were given the opportunity to protest because they had concerns for their drinking water safety and that the Sioux have not been afforded the same opportunities.

There are federal environmental and preservation laws requiring the Corps of Engineers to consult with the tribes, but even though they have held 154 meetings between the Dakota Access company, local elected officials and community organizations in North Dakota since the project was announced last summer, not one of those meetings included Standing Rock.

“This demolition is devastating,” Archambault said. “These grounds are the resting places of our
ancestors. The ancient cairns and stone prayer rings there cannot be replaced. In one day, our

This gives the appearance of being a retaliatory act or psychological warfare, because the company is angry that the Native Americans are resisting them. There is a case pending in federal court and they should have waited on a ruling before they did anything that radical. They took advantage of the Labor Day Weekend holiday to do this. But more importantly, why didn't the federal court grant an injunction to keep them from doing this?

People who live in this area are generally aware of how much regulation goes into environmental studies for Corps projects due to all that went on with the Rt. 52 bypass around Chesapeake, OH. Things in South Dakota have not been conducted properly. The Huffington Post published an article that gives a timeline of the underhandedness.

It is evident that some governmental agencies are not behaving as they should. The North Dakota DHS actually ordered water be taken away from the protestors in the 90-degree weather they have been having. There had been trailers and water tanks there at the protest encampment sent by the North Dakota Department of Health at the tribe's request to support the roughly 2,500 people now gathered along the Standing Rock reservation's border on the Cannonball River. "It is deeply ironic that the Governor would release emergency funds under the guise of public health and safety, but then remove the infrastructure that helps ensure health and safety in the camp," said Tara Houska, national campaigns director for Honor the Earth.

They had to have had this project in the works for much longer than people were aware. The Corps of Engineers granted permits across 60 river crossings just in Iowa.

It is evident that they intend to get this project well underway and possibly finished before the legal issues can be decided, making them irrelevant. They have said they hope to have it finished by the end of the year.

Those who are in support of the pipeline say it will, help give Americans energy independence. They have said that the fracked oil will be used only in the US. But that is basically a huge lie. They used the lie to gain public support and to get the project approved by regulators.

They did a presentation in Iowa in which they claimed, the new pipeline would deliver 100% domestically produced crude oil to US refineries, to be used exclusively by Americans. Dakota-Access-Iowa-Information.pdf
(Incidentally, the PDF above also has maps that show where this pipeline is supposed to go.

They also claim that those who protest it are “shameful”. “It’s a shameful act by a group of people trying to disrupt our energy security and independence,” Dakota Access officials told the Associated Press in the response to the protests, which have blocked construction of the pipeline near the city of Cannon Ball, N.D.Pipeline construction equipment damage in suspected arson

But the private security hired by the company is now tear gassing people and attacking them with dogs. To me that is shameful.

Dakota Access Pipeline Company Attacks Native American Protesters with Dogs & Pepper Spray

Last December, a 40-year ban on the export of oil was lifted by Congress. Afterward, the company backtracked on claims that the oil would be used domestically.
“We will not own the oil that is transported through the pipeline. We are like FedEx. We will deliver the oil to the refineries for the producers,” said Vicki Granado, Energy Transfer Partner’s spokesperson.

When I first became aware of this issue, I was looking at it from a purely water oriented point of view. I will readily say, I am not an expert on how the oil industry works inside the US. I thought this pipeline was supposed to start in Canada and go to the gulf. I was thinking of the Keystone XL project, which President Obama decided to halt. To me, that meant that it would be a while before it reached the gulf. I wasn't aware that there are already numerous pipelines in the middle of the country already go to the gulf and this is basically the last leg of it. This is basically just a way to get around the Keystone XL problem and use some of the existing infra-structure. The Dakota Access Pipeline goes through four states, but it will then connect to pipelines already in existence that lead to the Nederland, Texas, terminal on the Gulf Coast, which is owned by Sunoco Logistics, a partner to the Dakota Access project, which is able to export crude oil. Shell Pipeline Deal With Locap Adds Rate Certainty; Sunoco Adds Access

At a conference at CitiBank on August 17-18, 2016, Energy Transfer Partners gave a presentation where they said they were “exceptionally well positioned to capitalize on U.S. energy exports.”

“We are certain that this oil will be sent to the Gulf of Mexico and sold to the highest bidder,” says Jonas Magram, an Iowa resident who lives in a county along the path of the Dakota Access pipeline, who has protested the construction.

Some politicians have been heavily involved in this pipeline. Former Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican from Texas, pushed lawmakers to lift the ban on crude oil only one month after joining the board of Energy Transfer Partners, the parent company of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Facing Felony Charges, Rick Perry Joins Board of Energy Transfer Partners, Owner of Proposed Oil Pipeline Across Iowa

There are also people that Energy Transfer Partners used imminent domain laws against.

So, it isn't just a Native American issue.

The following is from the Huffington Post: “Immediately recognizing the need to stop this process, on August 4, 2016, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe along with attorneys from Earthjustice filed a motion with supporting documents for a preliminary injunction against the DAPL. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) issued the initial permitting for the pipeline. Federal Judge James E. Boasberg rejected the motion to ignore the injunction request and ordered a status conference on September 14, leaving room for discussion after his ruling September 9.

That fact that the corps ruled in favor of the DAPL routing, to begin with, is beyond puzzling, since not one, but three Federal agencies opposed it. The Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Interior, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation have all said that the USACE had not done an adequate Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), mainly with regard to drinking water.

Most recently, representatives of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues said the same, and that the Tribe must have a say.” DAPL Pipeline Interests Try Outrageous Fait Accompli and Destroy Ancient Sites

If as the Sioux fear, the pipeline under the river breaks it will contaminate water for millions of people who live downstream. And Missouri feeds into the Mississippi River.

In an article in the Des Moines Register, farmers complain that the company is destroying their farmland. It says that in some places, they excavated 20 feet deep and the result is that the hard clay at the bottom could end up just a couple feet from the ground. The farmers were paid for access to their land, but only after it seemed that imminent domain was going to be used to take it from then one way or another.

Iowa is known for some of the most valuable and fertile land in the country. “In Sioux and O'Brien counties, the average farmland price topped $10,800 per acre in 2015, according to statistics kept by Iowa State University. The statewide average sale price was $7,633 per acre.” dakota-access-pipeline-degrading-soil-farmers-complain

Some of the landowners say that water from the construction sites is running off onto their farmland.

One of the places the pipeline is supposed to go is under the Missouri River at Lake Oahe. If there were to be a leak there is would be catastrophic. As of August 30th, Dakota Access didn't have the permit to drill under this area yet, because the Corps of Engineers had not notified Congress. Because the Corps owns land on either side of Lake Oahe, Dakota Access must get an “easement” from the Corps to dig the tunnel for the pipeline underneath federally owned lands. Under the law, the Corps must give Congress notification of its intent to grant such an easement, and then wait 14 days after giving notice before issuing the easement.

Thirty-one different groups sent a letter to President Obama last Thursday. They are asking him to revoke the permits that have already been granted and to block the remaining ones. A similar strategy tied up the Keystone XL pipeline. The White House referred the issue to the Department of Justice.

There have also been protests in other places around the country, including in Houston, TX where Energy Transfer Partners is headquartered. 

Houston Stands Against the Dakota Access Pipeline

Demonstrators in Kansas City protest Dakota Access Pipeline

President Obama actually made a visit a few years back and in his speech he promised the Standing Rock people that he would treat Native Americans better than previous presidents had. He even quoted Sitting Bull saying that we should put our minds together to see what we can build for our children. It remains to be seen whether he will keep his promise, amid so many other broken ones. I don't think that when he was promising to bring them more economic opportunities that they thought he meant to do it by building this pipeline. In the above video, you can see a story about how Native American teenagers ran 2000 miles all the way to the White House begging attention for their cause. Response? Crickets.

Natives & Non-Natives Unite To Stop Oil Pipeline

In case you are thinking that people are worrying too much and an oil spill isn't very likely: I found a video made in 2013 that said in a year's time there were 300 oil spills in North Dakota and 750 oil field incidents. None of them were reported to the public. OR how about the oil spill under the Yellow Stone River in North Dakota earlier this month?

Oil Spills Erupt In North Dakota, Public Kept In Dark

Oil Pipeline Break Is Under Yellowstone River, Protest Arrest N.D.

In the not so distant future, water is going to be an issue for us all. Billionaires and corporations have already begun buying up all of the fresh water around the world and in the US. It is in their interests to contaminate the water for the rest of us. How else will they be able to profit from their investment? But that's an article for another day.  The Privatization of Water: NestlĂ© Denies that Water is a Fundamental Human Right