Over the past few months, the Dakota Access Pipeline protests have been very significant. An earlier post detailed the facts and the dangers of the protests itself. Typically non-violent protesters have been violently attacked by police forces.
The major issue is that there is a near-media blackout by the mainstream outlets. There has virtually nothing done about the DAPL violence against protesters. Real, objective facts need to be given by these outlets, and not just from independent media sources who have done an excellent job covering the protests. To get a quick background, click here to see the earlier post on the DAPL.
The DAPL protests have led to dozens of human rights violations and the United States government hasn’t done anything to help it. Don’t listen when politicians say we care about humanitarian causes and altruism. On some cases, that may be true, but we neglect domestic abuses, and then we get ourselves into offensive wars as well as funding our allies who also commit human rights violations. We have to stand up. Change comes from the bottom up, as we have seen a little with the rise of Bernie Sanders. We have to continue that in larger quantities to truly create the change we need.
Over the past few months, the Dakota Access Pipeline has been under debate. In 2014, Energy Transfer Partners and Dakota Acess announced that they had been approved to build a pipeline from North Dakota to Illinois. The cost of the pipeline is estimated to be around $3.8 billion. Several protests have occurred, led by the Dakota and Standing Rock Sioux tribes. The proposed route would cut through their territory in North Dakota and South Dakota.
Proponents of the pipeline as well as the Keystone XL pipeline attempt to persuade people to join their side by claiming it lead will to energy independence. When asked on this, Energy Transfer Partners, were unable to give a clear answer. Reports show that the oil is likely to be exported. Lee Fang of The Intercept reports that Energy Transfers is primed to cash in on oil exports. In December, Congress lifted a 40-year ban on crude oil exports, as part of an omnibus bill. Look at the facts here: If there is no embargo on oil exports, then, of course, there will be oil exports. Do you think that Energy Transfers wouldn’t take advantage of the opportunity to export oil?
During the construction process, Dakota Access and Energy Transfer Partners claim that the number of jobs created will be around 8,000-12,000. These construction jobs aren’t permanent, obviously. They also state that it could raise $50 million from property taxes and $74 million in state sales taxes across North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois. That is a positive, at the expense of the environment.
Additionally, the pipeline could contaminate drinking water. Much of the Midwest receives its drinking water through the Missouri River, including the Sioux Tribe, which has been a major catalyst in this battle. Although under the fact sheet subsection titled “Construction and the Land” state that a minimum of 36 inches of soil must cover the pipeline, oil pipelines are prone to leaks. Studies show that fracking leads to contaminated water. People who deny this are denying the truth. We know that there is massive corruption here. Oil companies and notable proponents, including politicians, are definitely in it together. Many politicians take money from big oil companies, who in turn will do their bidding. The site Open Secrets tracks money in politics. Here is a list of major oil and gas companies who have given to politicians in the U.S. Congress. The oil industry is one of the world’s most profitable industries, and it shows in lobbying expenses alone. In each of the last eight years, oil and gas companies have spent over $100 million annually in lobbying expenses also according to Open Secrets.
To see Energy Transfer Partners Open Secrets profile, click here.
Here, we see the map of the Missouri River. There is a significant amount of overlapping, which means a lot of the pipeline will be below the Missouri, which solidifies the point of clean water risk with the pipeline.
Part 3: Violence Against Protestors:
Over the recent weeks, there have been an increasing amount of process. Last week, security officials and dogs were brought in and attacked several people. Also, pepper spray has been used on protestors as well. Here is a clip from the protests. These protestors are peacefully protesting, which is a fundamental right established in the First Amendment of the Constitution. Repeated violence against protestors is in clear violation of freedom of assembly. There haven’t been reports of protestors being violent, then came the attacks. This is happening because Energy Transfer Partners and Dakota Access despise these protests because it’s hindering construction and their profits.
Part 4: Funding: The pipeline’s cost estimates to be around $3.8 billion dollars for the entire project. With this, several major financial institutions have been financing the project. Some include HSBC, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, UBS, JPMorganChase and Wells Fargo to name a few. It’s really no surprise that these institutions back these big name projects. The elite is all interconnected. Oil companies, banks, and other corporations all work together to keep the system as it is alive. The system as it is needs to stop