The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) has become a hot issue for liberals, since it’s a perfect mix of hot-button issues: race (Native Americans), environmental concerns (water pollution, oil spills), climate change, and evil big corporations against the little guys.
What started out as a small protest in Standing Rock, North Dakota, has now gotten a lot of national coverage and attention. Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein and many celebrities have spoken against the pipeline or have gone there to protest, and liberals on social media are shedding virtual tears. And, oh, Donald Trump signed the executive orders to move the project forward!
But there is a lot of misunderstanding and propaganda regarding this whole issue.
First of all, many Americans seem to fear oil pipelines perhaps because they don’t realize how many pipelines there are in America. Take a look at the map of 2 million miles of oil and natural gas pipelines:
That’s quite astonishing, right? So, pipelines are around us everywhere and they are also an essential part of our infrastructure. (There are about 72,000 miles of pipelines in the U.S. that carry crude oil.)
There are also benefits to pipelines: they are more effective, cost-saving and even environmentally friendlier than alternative modes of transportation such as tanker trucks and freight trains. Trucks and trains, of course, run on … diesel, a byproduct of petroleum (oil). Thus, trucks and trains mean more pollution, more oil consumed (bigger carbon footprint) and more greenhouse gases.
But aren’t pipelines dangerous — disastrous oil leaks and explosions? Yes. it’s a big problem, but those problems don’t go away with trucks and trains either. Look at the headlines below:
Now, let’s move on to the specifics of DAPL and its problems. First, it’s a 1,000-mile long pipeline and more than 90% has been completed. The only problem is in the land of Sioux tribe in a Native American reservation called Standing Rock in North Dakota. Note that there are only about 8,000 people who live in an area of 3,600 square miles.
And the pipeline only goes through a very tiny piece of land that belongs to Standing Rock. Some sources claim that the pipeline never touches Standing Rock and is actually about 1/2 mile away. Either way, the entire length of the pipe in that region is less than 40 miles.
And guess what? That 40-mile strip is a private land and really doesn’t even belong to Standing Rock.
The claims of the opponents are two fold: one, the pipeline runs through sacred sites protected by a treaty; two, the pipeline is close to water sources and hence a spill in the future could harm the people living there.
Sacred Sites: This is a bogus reason contrived by liberal groups who dug up a treaty from 1850 or so. The treaty has been disputed many times and it was actually between the U.S Government and another tribe (Great Sioux Nation).
Also, the pipeline company requested feedback from the tribe back in 2014 and there was no response. In fact, the Army Corps of Engineers tried to meet with the tribe more than dozen times but couldn’t. Two years later, suddenly sacred sites have become an issue.
Furthermore, there is another pipeline – Northern Border Pipeline, built in 1982 – that runs parallel to DAPL. How come nobody had problems with that one?
Future Spill: This is an important issue and a real concern. But turning this fear into a sole decision factor means no pipeline can be built at all.
So why all this unnecessary drama? One, green energy activists/companies are funding the protests and even bribing some of the leaders of Standing Rock. Two, Warren Buffett and others have huge investments in freight trains and trucks which will lose business because of this pipeline.
Fact is that many Native Americans in Standing Rock couldn’t care less about DAPL. They are sick of all these white people coming in from all over the world to protest an issue for ulterior motives and using the Native Americans as a pawn.
So, go home, hipsters and celebrities! Trump will let the pipeline move forward, but has insisted that the pipeline be built with steel made in America.