The sacred protest

Illinois divided over Dakota Access Pipeline


Protestors at Sacred Stone Camp in North Dakota protest the Dakota Access Pipeline. Some concerns are water contamination and disturbance of sacred grounds.

Patoka, Ill., is anticipating a new inhabitant. This new Illinois roommate could create jobs, bring in millions of gallons of oil and also possibly destroy the environment surrounding it.
The Dakota Access Pipeline is a 1,172 mile pipeline that will transfer crude oil from North Dakota to Patoka, Ill., to reach refining markets in a timely manner that will reduce use of train and truck transportation. This pipeline is supposed to increase the amount of oil being transferred between these two locations greatly, bringing in millions of dollars of revenue for the state.
The pipeline would decrease America’s need for foreign oil and create less need for trains to transport oil, allowing the cars to transfer more crops instead.
The Dakota pipeline website explains that this pipeline is environmentally safe and will create more than 8,000 jobs.
Those who support the pipeline explain it is a safer means to move the oil. In 2013, a train carrying crude oil derailed and completely destroyed the downtown of the Canadian city, Lac-Mégantic.
But, many are still uncertain about the safety of the pipeline. Is the safety of an entire group of people and their environment worth the payout?
The pipeline is being constructed dangerously close to the Sioux Indian Reservation. It is important to note that these people use this land and local environment to fuel their reservation. The local water supply, especially, is of great concern for the Sioux people because a spill could completely contaminate their only source of water and cause a major catastrophe.
Protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline began in April. A small, peaceful protest was organized, but slowly the movement has inflated, and now, more than 1,000 people have come together to protest the pipeline.
The protest site has been dubbed the Sacred Stone Camp and has been the location of several violent face-offs between protestors and the oil company.
The Sioux people place great emphasis upon their connection with nature and the respect of their dead, and the pipeline would run through their sacred lands and burial grounds.
The Obama administration requested a halt on the construction of the pipeline to give time to find an alternative. However, the company responsible for the pipeline’s birth has stated construction will not stop.
An NPR article stated that Army will not allow further construction of the pipeline until a consensus can be made about an alternative option.
The Sioux also have made claims that the government did not consult them in regards to building the pipeline, therefore leaving them without a choice.
2016 Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders and actress Shailene Woodley have been aggressively protesting the pipeline, insisting the construction be stopped. Woodley was even arrested when protesting at Sacred Stone Camp.
Recently, protestors came together against CNN, angered that the news outlet had not covered this controversial issue. In response, CNN published an online article discussing the pipeline.
This movement is relevant to this state because it could affect our economy and provide jobs. But, this pipeline could damage the lifestyles of Native American people. Which is the lesser of two evils?

Facebook Comments Box