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Standing Rock: The Environmental and Social Justice Consequences of Fracking and the Dakota Access P



"You can live without money. You can live without oil. But you can't live without water."

- Standing Rock Youth [1]

In May of 2016, a multi-billion dollar corporation, Energy Transfer Partners, began construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) project, despite long standing opposition from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North and South Dakota. The DAPL, also known as the Bakken Oil Pipeline, is designed to extend 1,168 miles across North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois, crossing through communities, farms, tribal lands, sensitive natural areas and wildlife habitat. It is intended to carry crude oil from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to Illinois where it will link with another pipeline that will transport the oil to terminals and refineries along the Gulf of Mexico. [2]

If construction is completed, the pipeline is expected to carry approximately 500,000 barrels of crude oil daily from North Dakota to Illinois, crossing underneath Lake Oahe and the Missouri River a half-mile upstream from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's reservation. [3] The Missouri River is the main source of drinking and irrigation water for the 8,200 residents of the Standing Rock reservation. The pipeline would pump an estimated 17,000 gallons of oil per minute underneath this water source, which would be devastated by a spill or leak. [4] This project poses serious environmental threats and will disturb burial grounds and sacred sites on the Tribe's ancestral Treaty lands. [5] On July 26, 2016 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave its approval to run the DAPL underneath Lake Oahe, in violation of federal law. One day later, on July 27th, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed a complaint in federal court seeking an injunction to halt construction. [6] The Tribe's legal action has been followed by a rapidly growing movement of peaceful support.

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