Dakota Access Pipeline proves more of issue than solution
November 12, 2016
Saudi Arabia and Venezuela in the last five years have provided the United States with the millions, even billions, of barrels of oil, which accounts for the large economy in the Middle East and Venezuela because of their oil industries. However, this oil is much more expensive to transport overseas, than it would be to have available oil within the United States. This is one of the reasons that some people believe that the pipeline should be built, so we could rely less on foreign nations for oil.
The Dakota Access Pipeline, stretches from the heart of North Dakota all the way to central Illinois, a 1,172 mile pipeline, cutting through cities, counties and native American Reservations just for the transportation of crude oil.
Crude oil is a harmful fossil fuel used to power virtually everything that Americans do, such as driving to work, heating their home or even the simple act of flipping a light switch, all is connected to this cheap nonrenewable resource most of the world is dependent on.
This pipeline, if constructed, would be a travesty not only to our environment, but to the native American tribes of North Dakota that is having their land stolen and used for the purpose of transporting oil.
North Dakota’s oil boom in the past decade has lead to the vast increase of the exportation of crude oil all over America. Plans have been drawn up for the construction of this pipeline, which would infringe on many reservations and take away the native’s land. Because of this, in recent news there have been constant protests by these tribes and natives of North Dakota, and in the past few weeks turned violent. One protester was charged with attempted murder. The bottom line is that heartless companies, who have no respect for humans rights, should not be able to dictate whether or not a massive pipeline should be constructed.
In North Dakota, there are many Native American tribes who live all over the state in different counties and reservations. The Dakota Access Pipeline would cut right through the center of North Dakota, interfering with many pre-existing reservation boundaries, multiple county lines and even the construction will disrupt sacred burial sites of the Natives. It is known throughout American history that the Native Americans have been discriminated against and uprooted and displaced many times, and that will continue if this pipeline is built.
“We are violating the agreements that have been made to respect the first people of America,” junior Leo Montie said. “We have a history in our country of tormenting the native peoples and taking advantage of them.”
In the Constitution of the United States of America, it states that everyone within our borders has certain unalienable rights that cannot be tampered with or changed. What Dakota Access is doing to the state of North Dakota and its natives is almost repulsive in their general disrespect towards the rights of the natives. Thomas Jefferson said in the Declaration of Independence that everyone has the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Dakota Access is somehow managing to violate all three of these rights set by the forefathers of our country.
Another issue that surfaces with the construction of this pipeline would be how it affects the local environments and ecosystems surrounding this project. It has been know that many previous pipelines that have been built to transport oil have sadly leaked or spilled thousands of gallons of oil into many lakes, rivers, gulfs and farm lands, destroying literally tons of life, and contaminating that land for years to come.
According to the Huffington Post, “The [federal] agencies inaction has put other communities at risk of oil spills and often threatened the safety of their drinking water and local ecosystems,” stated Staff Attorney Doug Hayes, for the Sierra Club.
Oil spills are not exactly uncommon when it comes to large oil transportation techniques. When oil spills occur they can severely injure local ecosystems by killing off plants and animals essential to the survival of that environment. In the case of this pipeline, at points of the proposed plans, the line will go underneath the Missouri River, which is where local tribes from that area get their drinking water. Many of these native people fear that if the pipeline is built, their drinking water may become contaminated and unable to drink.
Oil interests in North Dakota have been spurred on by the government, private oil industries and our oil dependent society in America. America has one of the highest oil consumption per capita than almost any other country in the world, which is why our government believes we need this pipeline for cheaper access to oil within our country and we could rely less on foreign nations for petroleum.
“The US government has had oil special interests like the Koch Brothers in their pocket for years,” junior Leo Montie said. “If we continue to permit the manipulation of our government by oil then we won’t be able to move away from it.”
If the pipeline were to be finished, our economy would not be able to grow and change from an oil dependent society because we would be far too invested in it. However if we use the pipeline now and it doesn’t get built, it could act as a stepping stone to creating an America that doesn’t rely on petroleum for power.
The most logical solution to this pipeline catastrophe, first of all would be to not construct it, to save our country from the social and environmental impacts it will inevitably lead to, also to recognize that as a country we need to start conserving our energy so later generations can enjoy a good life as we have now. Finally if the pipeline does not get built, we should start to change our energy source, to clean nuclear or renewable energy, which has no foreseeable environmental or social impacts on the United States.