The People of Standing Rock Have won the Battle but the War is yet to be Won as Obama Hands the Final Decision Regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline to the Trump Administration.
By RaDonna Fox | December 9th, 2016
The Obama administration, through the Army Corp of Engineers, has sought to do a more extensive environmental review on the impact that the Dakota Access Pipeline (dapl) will have on the health and the water for the people of the Standing Rock Indian reservation.
Yes, there are grand environmental concerns, but if we step back and take a look at the bigger picture we will see that there is more to this story than than the impact of merely water. What this is, in no uncertain terms is a power struggle. Not dissimilar to the Cherokee Legend of the two wolves. This struggle is between the need for a clean healthy environment with minimal impact on the water of all people and the struggle of our dependency on fossil fuel. Do we continue to feed what seems to be an infinite need for fuel, feed it for another 53.3 years which is when B.P. estimates the world fuel supply will run dry.
This clash of power is that of those wanting to transition to cleaner more sustainable energy sources and that of an oil company, with many investors, wanting to garner a piece of what is left of this dirty oil pie, regardless of the impact it has on others. What they have yet to understand is the impact on others is also an impact upon themselves, however distant it may seem, we are one.
The Dakota Access pipeline if completed will transport 570,000 barrels of crude oil per day out of the region of North Dakota known as the Three Forks and Bakken to Pataka, Ill. That amount of oil is equal to what 20 nuclear power plants, and can put out some 40 gigawatts of power. It is an incredible amount of physical power, and that is what makes it so valuable to those who desire money and political power. When the people take a stand and restrict this flow of physical power, they also hold power over the economy of that resource, and those who hold power over such a large economic "resource" ultimately hold great political power as well.
This is nothing short of a power struggle. The Sioux people of Standing Rock have taken a stand against the current political and economic powers in an attempt to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline from destroying their drinking water. The clash resulted in the First People being met with a mighty militarized police force spraying them down with water cannons, plummeting them with rubber bullets, and tear gassing them; not to mention the vicious attack dogs. Then more people joined in, people who can see what value water has over oil, not the monetary value of water, but the necessity it carries with it that is invaluable to all people of this planet.
As the whole world watched in disbelief, many were very disturbed by what was happening to the First People of Standing Rock and others began to take a stand as it looked bad to treat Native Americans like heathens. It wasn't until United States veterans began showing up that the tide began to turn, it seems there was a very real fear of doing the same to U.S. Vets might be "bad for business." So, they backed off, the Army Corps gave the orders to further investigate the easement, and the police backed off. Energy Transfer Partners is committed to completing the construction of this pipeline, there full statement can be read here.
"The operator of the Dakota Access Pipeline said this week that it remains committed to completing a section of the project that would run near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, despite the US government’s decision to pursue alternative routes. In a sharply worded statement released early Monday, Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics Partners criticized what it described as a “political” decision from the Army Corps of Engineers, suggesting that it will seek to complete the original route once President Obama leaves office."
As the harsh North Dakota winter sets in the people of the world will have to wait and see what President-elect Donald Trump plans to do regarding the path of this pipeline. Donald Trump's administration has stated that he plans to review the plans of the Dakota Access pipeline. His administration openely stating they support the project. This will be a test as Trump's administration has stated that they intend to reverse the decision to halt the pipeline and bring more unsustainable dirty energy to American by way of oil, coal, and nuclear power.
The cold hard truth is, that if there is less oil at the pumps gas prices will go up and the people will be forced to pay more or use less; but with that we are stuck utilizing an energy source that is dwindling, fracking is the only way left to access what remains of our 53.3 years of oil, and that in-and-of-itself is dirty and environmentally unsound.
The impacts of this pipeline are a power struggle, one to feed the hungry wolf seeking to bring dirty, unhealthy, dwindling, and unsustainable power to the masses with the dream of utilizing an affordable energy source at a great cost. The other wolf fighting to keep the water safe to drink, not only for themselves but for all people, fighting for alternative energy sources that are clean and sustainable, that have little if any environmental impact to the waters, the air, and the people, all the while providing it at an affordable price.
Transition is difficult for all people, corporations included. The power of the corporation vs the power of the people, both wolves are strong and willing to fight, it is time for us to take a stand and decide which side of this power struggle we are on, remaining neutral is not a viable option.
The first steps to change are 1. Get informed. 2. Take a stand. 3. Speak out. 4. Take action.
Divesting from oil stocks and moving them to renewable sources, divesting from banks offering financial support to the Dakota Access project and all pipelines is an outstanding start. It is time we transition from dirty oil and other dirty sources of energy to clean sustainable energy for all people. Thank you to the people of Standing Rock for being a pillar of strength and resolve by showing the rest of the world what is needed to create change for the better. I believe in the end that the First People and people of all Nations will have victory against the Black Snakes if we remain vigilant and understand the importance of sustainable clean energy sources, and demand collectively for the change.
The Black Snake is not dead, not even close, may the final victory be, theirs, yours, and ours.