By Megan Steele
Why is the pipeline being made?
The pipeline, known as the Dakota Access Pipeline, is being built to transport oil from North Dakota to Illinois because it is believed that there are over 7 billion barrels of oil to be found in the Bakken Formation. The pipeline is planned to go through South Dakota and Iowa in order to make it to Illinois. It is estimated that the pipeline would be able to transport almost 500,000 barrels of crude oil every day.
The developer behind the pipeline states that the development of the pipeline would be environmentally friendly, safe, and cost-effective because it would take the truck transportation of oil off of the road. It is also proposed by the developer that they hope the pipeline will help improve the economy in North Dakota after the decrease in the price of oil.
Why is the ground they are digging on so important?
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is the tribe located on the pipe’s path. The members of this tribe say that if the pipeline is built through their ground it is destroying their sites of religious, cultural, and historic significance. Some of the ground where the pipeline would be developed was even considered to be a sacred burial ground. There is also concern that it will affect the drinking water supply for the tribe.
What is going on with the protestors?
Members of the tribe, community, and from across the country have come together every day to sing and pray while the workers continue construction on the pipeline. The tribe and many others have come together because of their shared disappoint in the fact that the U.S. District Court did not prevent their sacred ground from being destroyed. Because these sites are considered to be sacred and historic, there are supposed to be laws in place that they cannot be destroyed.
Since the beginning of construction, protestors continue to be treated much worse. At some points, it has been reported that they were sprayed with pepper spray and even had dogs released on them. More recently, actress Shailene Woodley was arrested for participating in protests. It has been stated that she was arrested because she was recognizable and brought “too much attention to the construction” after her Facebook Live video had 40,000 live viewers. She has since been released from jail.
Has anything further been done to stop the pipeline? If so, has it been successful?
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe continues to put in requests that the construction of the pipeline be stopped, petitions have started online, and protesters continue. As of right now, none of this has been successful in stopping the pipeline from being built.
What are your thoughts on the pipeline being produced? Should it be stopped or is it okay for them to continue?