Monday, November 2nd, TransCanada asked the Obama Administration to delay its review of the Keystone XL Oil Pipeline. However, as of today, the U.S. State Department will continue to review the proposed pipeline. Reports in the last several months have led us to believe that the President will make his decision before his time in the Oval Office expires. Speculation as to why the need for delay leaves many anti-pipeline fighters assuming that this would push the decision passed the 2016 election, where the President would no longer have the authority to reject the pipeline.
However, the issue of this pipeline running from Canada and into the United States, with some of its route going through Tribal and farm owners land plays a huge role in this political campaign. Congress sees it as dollar signs. We, the people, the lovers of our land, and Mother Earth protectors, see it as a death sentence. The land, our water, the animals, and our environment is in imminent danger. Unci Maka, or Mother Earth in the Lakota language, needs to be protected. The arguments of job creation, will only last so long and will dwindle down to maybe a couple dozen of full time employees that will run the pipeline. There have been numerous reports of oil leaks in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and North Dakota. And TransCanada has made numerous comments stating that this is safe and no harm will occur. Blasphemy.
Next issue: Man Camps
“In 2012, the tribal police department reported more murders, fatal accidents, sexual assaults, domestic disputes, drug busts, gun threats, and human trafficking cases than in any year before. The surrounding counties offer similar reports. But there is one essential difference between Fort Berthold and the rest of North Dakota: The reservation’s population has more than doubled with an influx of non-Indian oil workers—over whom the tribe has little legal control.”
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that every person, man or female who join TransCanada to profit from the Bakken Oil Boom will commit some sort of crime or will fall into this statistic. There are workers with great intentions and mean no harm but to help and collect a very nice paycheck. But these are the facts of what HAS ALREADY happened, and the fear of it happening more, with crimes and sexual assault lingering in the back of our minds as we want to protect our Native women, our families, our children, our loved ones, becomes more real. This scares me as this proposed pipeline, will run through South Dakota, and may endanger my loved ones. Native Americans already feel under-represented and when it comes to solving crimes in Indian Country… well that gets put on the back burner.
What’s at risk?
Our land. Our water. Our environment. Our health. Fracking is another word for drilling. It’s the method of drilling into the shale rock to extract the natural oil and gas. Aquifers are underground layers of water in which it can be extracted by using water wells. Fracking threatens the Oglalla Aquifer as it provides communities life-sustaining water from the northern plains down to Texas. Dangerous chemicals such as methane will contaminate these resources but the companies will deny any harm to happen.
I could go on and on about the danger that this pipeline poses, especially towards the Tribal communities and First Nations people that have already encountered the danger. But this isn’t about what or whom I’m most protective about. I am a lover of the land and I appreciate all that Unci Maka has provided. It’s complete beauty. And the Keystone XL Pipeline threatens that beauty and puts the environment, the people, and the animals at risk.
It’s time for President Obama to reject the Keystone Pipeline! Click here to sign the petition that will be personally delivered to Washington, DC later this month!