Dakota Access Pipeline, Native Americans Protest – What is the story? Why the media blackout?
The fight of Native American tribes in North Dakota against an oil pipeline continues, and the protest camp says it’s not going anywhere until the Dakota Access pipeline meets their demands, the biggest of which is altering the route of the proposed pipeline which, under it’s current blueprint would cross the Missouri River.
This creates concerns with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe that their only source of water could be destroyed.
Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is a 1,134-mile-long (1825 km) underground U.S. oil pipeline project for crude oil being planned by Dakota Access, LLC, a subsidiary of the Dallas, Texas corporation Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. to begin in the Bakken oil fields in Northwest North Dakota, travel through South Dakota and Iowa before ending in Patoka, Illinois. The $3.7 billion project became public in July 2014, and informational hearings for landowners took place between August 2014 and January 2015. Dakota Access submitted its plan to the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) on October 29, 2014, and applied for a permit in January 2015. The IUB was the last of the four state regulators to grant the permit in March 2016, including the use of eminent domain, after some public controversy. As of March 2016, Dakota Access had secured voluntary easements on 82 percent of Iowa land.
The pipeline has been controversial regarding its necessity, potential harm to the environment, and impact on climate change. A number of Native Americans in Iowa and the Dakotas have opposed the pipeline, including the Meskwaki and several Sioux tribal nations. In August 2016, ReZpect Our Water, a group organized on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, brought a petition to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Washington, D.C., the tribe sued for an injunction, and a protest has begun at the pipeline site in North Dakota that has drawn international attention.