Dakota Pipeline Controversy

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There is a current sociological event happening right now, where thousands of people have passed or are passing through the camp of Standing Rock calling themselves water protectors. A 1,200-mile-long pipeline is being constructed by a Texas based energy company called Energy Transfer. The pipeline also known as the Dakota Access Pipeline, is designed to transport 570,000 barrels of crude oil per day from North Dakota to Illinois. The Pipeline project originally proposed to go over the Missouri River but was rejected due to the fact that it was too close to residential areas, roads, and lands. Approved by a government agency the US Corps of Engineers, the pipeline is now approved to be built under the Missouri River and this portion of …show more content…
The Standing Rock Sioux fear that if the pipeline were to rupture it would contaminate their only source of drinking water which comes from the Missouri River. According to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration which is a branch of the government, have collected pipeline incident reports since 1970 to review trends over a 20-year span. This compiled report last updated on November 22 of 2016 includes fatality and injury requiring hospitalization as well as highly volatile liquid released in five barrels or more, or other liquid released of 50 barrels or more. This year alone there have been over fifty thousand barrels spilled costing over a million and a half dollars, causing 140 incidents on people and 1 fatality (PHMSA, n.d.). With the intent of moving 500,000 gallons per day of crude oil, if the pipe line were to rupture or leak in some way these oils do not evaporate quickly. The cleanup required for crude oil which is considered to be a medium oil is only most successful when done immediately after the spill. The oil can still reside in high and low water areas and can be extremely threatening to mammals since it can cling to feathers, fur or hair (D, 2012). Many of the environmentalists and protestors who support the Sioux tribe believe that it is only a matter of time before the pipeline leaks because it is not a question of if but when. Special interest groups, in this case activists for the environment that want the prevention of global warming traditionally would lobby governments to have stricter standards and mandates for electricity companies but have been often overturned (Dolsak, Prakash, and Allen, 2016.). These special interest groups have now decided to approach the situation by the root of the problem, by attempting to block access to pipelines and railroads the

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