The Dakota Access Pipeline has begun to gain incredible traction in the last couple of months. The Dakota Access LLC, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Crude Oil Company, LLC developed a pipeline that will transport up to 570,000 barrels of crude oil daily from oil wells in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale to Illinois. The nearly $4 billion project was originally proposed in 2014 with an expected date of completion within the year. Now, close to the end of 2016 this project has yet to be completed due to incredible controversy and protestors. Why are people standing up for Standing Rock?
Standing Rock Sioux, a Native American Tribe living on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation is opposed of the Dakota Access Pipeline for several reasons. The first being that this pipeline runs through the sacred burial grounds of the tribe. Destroying this for a pipeline destroys history, memories, and these sacred lands.
Most environmental activists along with tribe members are upset about the pipeline’s route. It would travel underneath the Missouri River, the primary drinking water source for their tribe of around 10,000 members. Builders of the pipeline guarantee that they have taken extra precautions to ensure that it is safe, however, opposed personnel point out that even the safest pipelines can leak and even the smallest spill could damage the tribe’s water supply.
Environmental activists also believe that adding this pipeline would contribute to man-made climate changes by increasing the field of the United States’ oil organizations. In order to keep the environment healthier and continue down the path of a more sustainable world, environmental activists believe that such fossil fuels, like Bakken Shale, need to be kept in the ground to protect the world from overall worsening effects from climate change.
With such major consequences at stake for our world, it has catapulted celebrities getting involved such as Leonardo DiCaprio who tweeted: #StandWithStandingRock, #KeepItInTheGround, and #NoDAPL have taken over Twitter. Shailene Woodley, actress, is one of the other celebrities that has taken a strong stance on defending the sacred lands and protecting the environment.
Woodley, 24, joined the protestors which resulted in her arrest on October 10, 2016 for criminal trespassing and engaging in a riot. Woodley Facebook live streamed her arrest because “I’m (Woodley) well-known (and) because I have 40,000 people watching.” in efforts of spreading the word of this movement and getting followers to come support the stance against the pipelines as well. After her release, last week Woodley used her acceptance speech time at the Environmental Media Awards, EMA, to again speak out about this environmental event-A movement she is so passionate about it brought her to tears.
As for right now, The Obama administration temporarily blocked construction on the project in efforts of reviewing the project and its details, however, a federal court allowed the project to proceed. President Obama has yet to take further steps to discontinue the project. Nothing officially has been said about the pipeline from President Obama except, ” You’re making your voices heard” during a White House event for the Tribal Leaders.