|Protesters standing in waist-deep creek water in front of a line of police in riot gear. Image source.|
What to Know About the Dakota Access Pipeline Protests
The Standing Rock Sioux tribe has opposed the Dakota Access Pipeline since first learning about plans for the pipeline in 2014. But it’s only been in recent months that the issue has gained national attention, as thousands of protesters—including many Native Americans—have gathered in North Dakota in attempt to block the 1,200-mile project. And, with both supporters and opponents vowing to fight through the harsh North Dakota winter, the battle shows no signs of ending anytime soon.Video Captures Saturday’s Police Attack on Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters
Here’s what you need to know:
What is the Dakota Access Pipeline?
The pipeline is to be built by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners and is designed to transport as many as 570,000 barrels of crude oil daily from North Dakota to Illinois. The pipeline would be a key conduit connecting oil wells in the state’s Bakken Shale, where the development of fracking has opened billions of gallons of new oil to recovery, to other valuable consumer markets, including the Gulf Coast, Midwest and East Coast. The nearly $4 billion project was first proposed in 2014 with an anticipated completion of this year.
Why are the Sioux and others protesting the project?
The pipeline has united a number of different interest groups with a variety of objections, but Native Americans have been at the center of the opposition. The pipeline would travel underneath the Missouri River, the primary drinking water source for the Standing Rock Sioux, a tribe of around 10,000 with a reservation in the central part of North and South Dakota. Builders of the pipeline insist that they have taken extraordinary measures to safeguard against disaster, but opponents point out that even the safest pipelines can leak. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has reported more than 3,300 incidents of leaks and ruptures at oil and gas pipelines since 2010. And even the smallest spill could damage the tribe’s water supply. The Standing Rock Sioux also argue that the pipeline traverses a sacred burial ground. And while the land being used for the pipeline is not technically on its reservation, tribal leaders argue that the federal government did not adequately engage the Standing Rock Sioux during the permitting process—a requirement under federal law.
Dakota Access Pipeline Fight Watched on Facebook Live Around World
Standing Rock: Police Arrest 120+ Water Protectors as Dakota Access Speeds Up Pipeline Construction
The Dakota Pipeline Could Devastate Some of the Poorest People in America
4 ways the Dakota Access Pipeline could be stopped
Guards for North Dakota pipeline could be charged for using dogs on activists
Dakota Access pipeline protesters crowdsource for $5,000, get $1 million
'Water is Life': Al Gore, Jesse Jackson Support Dakota Access Protesters
The Avengers Assemble to Support Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters
The dismal science of the Standing Rock pipeline protests