Standing-Rock Sioux Defend Right to Clean Water, Part 2

| 12/6/2016 2:49:00 PM

Tags: human rights, Native Americans, direct action, oil pipeline, fossil fuels, Bruce McElmurray, North Dakota, Colorado,


For background on the Dakota Access Pipeline protests and the Sioux Water Defenders, read Part 1 of this series.

Why the Protest?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there are 1.3 million gallons of petroleum leaked into the ground or waterways each year. There are roughly 2.4 million miles of pipeline that transport crude oil in the U.S. In addition, crude oil is transported by ships and tanker trucks. The U.S. has been using pipelines for 70 years to transport petroleum and gas. Ships and trucks, when involved in crude oil spills, have a limited quantity or capacity but when a pipeline leaks, it has the potential to be catastrophic before being shut down.

In the 70 years of pipeline use, there have been several leaks and spills, but according to government statistics, it is still the safest way to transport crude oil. It is for this reason that the Standing Rock Sioux are protesting the placement of the Dakota Access Pipeline. While the pipeline is not technically on Sioux land, it is positioned where it could pose a future threat to their drinking water if the pipeline leaks or malfunctions in the future.

Although the company building the pipeline is fully legal and has obtained all necessary permits, the concern by the Sioux is equally legitimate in wanting to protect their water and land for future generations. As the pipeline ages, it will be more prone to structural failure and any leak could contaminate water and land. Since the 30-foot Dakota Access Pipeline will transport roughly 470,000+ barrels a day, it could present a significant threat to future generations should there be an unfortunate leak.

While the Dakota pipeline is considered the safest and best-designed pipeline, one day it, too, will be obsolete and a potential risk. A leak from a pipeline of this significance could damage much of the Sioux land and drinking water.

12/3/2016 4:01:19 PM

It's not only the land but the action of the oil company sets a bad precident for future intrusions on other people rights.

12/3/2016 4:00:52 PM

It's not only the land but the action of the oil company sets a bad precident for future intrusions on other people rights.

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