Not Again: How The U.S.'s New Pipeline Works To Oppress Native Americans

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In which the Native American tribes say "stick that in your pipeline and smoke it"

The Short of It:

Cries and protests from a Native American community in North Dakota have been getting the attention of celebrities, politicians and thousand more from other Native American tribes. This one involves the long-running mistreatment of Native Americans in the U.S., climate change, jobs, the energy economy and tribal rights.

The Longer Version of It:

Let us introduce you to the Dakota Access Pipeline. The new pipeline runs 1,172-miles long and 30-inches in diameter and is set to transfer over 470,000 barrels of crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois each day. The company behind the pipe's construction guarantees everything's kosher about the installment, but the pipe runs very close to a Native American reservation— smoke signals alert.

Here's who is in evolved:

The builder is Dakota Access, LLC, a subsidiary of Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners. They've tried to assert their claims that the underground pipeline will be more cost-effective, environmentally responsible, direct and safe. The victim: the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. They've been in opposition to the pipeline since first hearing about it back in 2014 and insist that the pipeline's route will destroy various sacred ceremonial sites and a possible leak could pollute the only source of clean water the tribe has. They also claim that while the U.S. government is supposed to consult Native American tribes and projects such as these it never happened. Since discovering the project, the tribe has sued to block it and other Native American tribes have pulled collected together to protest. Kind of like that epic scene in Avatar where all of the tribes show up on Pandora to help the Na'vi.

What's happening now?

Everyone's got an opinion. The Native American community has said "how typical of you" to the U.S. government while environmentalists want to know "what were you thinking?" The Obama administration has since intervened and told the company building the pipeline to 'hold up'. The government is now taking a moment to look into the concerns of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

The Takeaway:

So something you might remember a little bit more than that scene in Avatar? The Keystone Pipeline. Yep, people are comparing this to the major oil project from last year that President Obama put a stop to after years of protests from environmental groups. Not doubt about it this will be the next big environmental topic of the election year.