Large protest over the Dakota Access Pipeline – also known as the Bakken Pipeline – which was also evident in the Keystone XL Pipeline protest, has come from Native American tribal groups, including, in the case of the Bakken Pipeline, from the Yankton Sioux tribe located in South Dakota.
The Dakota Access Pipeline, just seven miles shorter than the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, has recently been approved by the government for construction and could be functional by the end of 2016. In a number of ways, it seems as if the new pipeline is Keystone XL: round two.
One form of protest over the pipeline construction has taken off running. Teens and other young members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe are running 30 to 70 miles a day from Fort Yates, North Dakota to Washington, D.C. These young people are running to bring attention to this petition against the project.
“I’ve lived my whole life by the Missouri River,” the petition reads, from the perspective of 13-year-old Anna, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. “It runs by my home in Fort Yates North Dakota and my great grandparents original home was along the Missouri River in Cannon Ball. The river is a crucial part of our lives here on the Standing Rock Reservation.
“But now a private oil company wants to build a pipeline that would cross the Missouri River less than a mile away from the Standing Rock Reservation and if we don’t stop it, it will poison our river and threaten the health of my community when it leaks.”
Argus Leader reports that the waters around Cannon Ball, North Dakota are interweaved into Standing Rock Sioux history, and tribal members are concerned, like Anna’s statement reads, about oil spillage destroying historic waters.
And spill it will – Mother Jones reports that large pipelines have spilt three times more oil than trains between 2004-12. This was a large leading concern in the Keystone XL debate, according to a 2014 article published by The New York Times. The Change.org petition goes on to state that “from 2012-2013 alone, there were 300 oil pipeline breaks in the state of North Dakota.”
The Dakota Access Pipeline will span the diagonal length of North Dakota and end in Patoka, Illinois – roughly 1,172 miles in length. According to the project’s fact website, over 470,000 barrels of oil will be transported per day.
Lead Image Credit: Photo of Standing Rock Sioux Nation protesting pipeline by dbirdy; Desiree Kane via Flickr Commons