Dakota Access Pipeline
Here are some correct facts: The 30-inch underground pipe parallels an existing duel 42-inch pipe easement and an electric transmission easement that has been in use since 1982.
There is no violation of Indian treaties or international law because the pipe will not be on Sioux land. The route is 99.98 percent on non-reservation private property. The remaining .02 percent is federal land (1,094 feet). It will cross Missouri River/Lake Oaha at a point over one-half mile from the north-east corner of the reservation. The pipe will be buried almost 100 feet below the bottom of the lake. Currently, there are eight pipelines that cross under this Missouri River/lake. Our own Sacramento River has far more pipe crossings than this and is also a water source.
The fear of an oil spill polluting the tribe’s water supply will be mitigated within the next year. The tribe’s drought damaged intake pipe will be moved to a new location 70 miles away.
As for ancient burial grounds, no Native American artifacts will be disturbed. Keep in mind, the ancient Sioux did not put their dead into the ground. They elevated their bodies on raised platforms and allowed the elements to dispose of the earthly remains.
There have been years of planning for this route. Fifty-five tribes held more than 389 meetings while the route was being decided. The U.S. Army Corps reached out nearly a dozen times to the Sandy Rock Sioux before finalizing the route. Certain tribe members chose to boycott these meetings. There have been several court reviews of this project
Most of the protesters are not Standing Rock Sioux. They are radical global warming extremists who are opposed to fossil fuels. There has been violence, gunfire, burning of construction equipment, and hundreds of arrests. This is criminal activity and not just a demonstration.
Rumor has it that oil-producing countries like Saudi Arabia are discreetly funding these protesters’ food and winter housing. Keep in mind that the volume of crude oil is estimated to be similar in quantity and of better quality than the Alaskan pipeline oil of the 1970s.
On the plus side, in completing this project, the U.S. will be more energy independent, transportation safety will improve compared to rail transport, thousands of jobs will spin-off from the project, and costs of fuel will decrease.
The negative implications are: because of delays, this pipeline is now overdue in delivering crude oil to refineries. This means a delay in repaying the $10.25 billion loaned to the construction companies by major banks and investors. It’s too late to divest — the money has already been spent. If this project is stopped, there could be foreclosures and bankruptcies. Banks could fail. In the worst case, this could spell the beginning of another financial depression.
So, before you endorse this civil disturbance or donate money to some naïve climate zealot, ask yourself about fuel for your car or will I have a job or a home when the recession hits?
Jeff Davis is a resident of Lafayette.