The Mess Known as the Dakota Access Pipeline

In North Dakota, there are protesters standing against a corporation and the government who wish to build a pipeline. According to the protesters, the pipeline is a threat to clean water and sacred areas for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. On the other side of the debate, the corporation and the government claim the pipeline is needed to help bring oil to millions. Who is right and who is wrong?

Both sides have very valid arguments. To ask for there to be no threats to clean water is very reasonable. Not wanting sacred areas to be disturbed is also reasonable. When it comes to the pipeline needing built to bring oil to millions, it makes sense. The arguments on both sides carry weight. However, both sides are not being treated fairly. In fact, one side is being blatantly disregarded.

Most people have probably heard of the violence that has happened toward the protesters, such as being attacked by dogs and pepper sprayed. Granted, some people will argue that the private security were defending themselves. Since we do not know exactly what happened, we will be focusing on other instances where the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe were disregarded. First, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline the ability to cross Lake Oahe without consulting the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Second, the tribe claimed that sacred sites were destroyed and were not consulted during the investigation. Third, the tribe’s request for an injunction to halt the pipeline’s construction was denied by a judge. All three instances above were non-violent, legal ways that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe were disregarded.

How do we find a resolution to the Dakota Access Pipeline? The answer is simple: work with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Approximately 90 scientists have came forward sharing that the pipeline is a threat to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s water supply. Therefore, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers should work with the tribe and these 90 scientists to figure out a proper way to go about the pipeline. As for the sacred sites, bring in experts from Native American culture and some leaders in the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to help in the investigation. Overall, the corporation and government needs to work with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, so that the pipeline can continue to be built and bring in revenue while keeping the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s water and sacred areas untouched.

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