What the Dakota Access Pipeline Is Really About
Escalating tensions were temporarily defused Sunday when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, at the direction of the Obama administration, announced it would refuse to grant the final permit needed to complete the $3.8 billion project. The pipeline, which runs nearly 1,200 miles from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota to Illinois, is nearly complete except for a small section where it needs to pass under the Missouri River. Denying the permit for that construction only punts the issue to next month—to a new president who won’t thumb his nose at the rule of law.
A little more than two weeks ago, during a confrontation between protesters and law enforcement, an improvised explosive device was detonated on a public bridge in southern North Dakota. That was simply the latest manifestation of the “prayerful” and “peaceful” protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Like many North Dakotans, I’ve had to endure preaching about the pipeline from the press, environmental activists, musicians and politicians in other states. More often than not, these sermons are informed by little more than a Facebook post. At the risk of spoiling the protesters’ narrative, I’d like to bring us back to ground truth.
This isn’t about tribal rights or protecting cultural resources. The pipeline does not cross any land owned by the Standing Rock Sioux. The land under discussion belongs to private owners and the federal government. To suggest that the Standing Rock tribe has the legal ability to block the pipeline is to turn America’s property rights upside down.
- Two federal courts have rejected claims that the tribe wasn’t consulted. The project’s developer and the Army Corps made dozens of overtures to the Standing Rock Sioux over more than two years. Often these attempts were ignored or rejected, with the message that the tribe would only accept termination of the project.
- Other tribes and parties did participate in the process. More than 50 tribes were consulted, and their concerns resulted in 140 adjustments to the pipeline’s route. The project’s developer and the Army Corps were clearly concerned about protecting tribal artifacts and cultural sites. Any claim otherwise is unsupported by the record. The pipeline’s route was also studied—and ultimately supported—by the North Dakota Public Service Commission (on which I formerly served), the State Historic Preservation Office, and multiple independent archaeologists.
- This isn’t about water protection. Years before the pipeline was announced, the tribe was working with the Bureau of Reclamation and the Army Corps to relocate its drinking-water intake. The new site sits roughly 70 miles downstream of where the pipeline is slated to cross the Missouri River. Notably, the new intake, according to the Bureau of Reclamation, will be 1.6 miles downstream of an elevated railroad bridge that carries tanker cars carrying crude oil.
Further, the pipeline will be installed about 100 feet below the riverbed. Automatic shut-off valves will be employed on either side of the river, and the pipeline will be constructed to exceed many federal safety requirements. Other pipelines carrying oil, gas and refined products already cross the Missouri River at least a dozen times upstream of the tribe’s intake. The corridor where the Dakota Access Pipeline will run is directly adjacent to another pipeline, which carries natural gas under the riverbed, as well as an overhead electric transmission line. This site was chosen because it is largely a brownfield area that was disturbed long ago by previous infrastructure.
- This isn’t about the climate. The oil that will be shipped through the pipeline is already being produced. But right now it is transported in more carbon-intensive ways, such as by railroad or long-haul tanker truck. So trying to thwart the pipeline to reduce greenhouse gas could have the opposite effect.
So what is the pipeline dispute really about? Political expediency in a White House that does not see itself as being bound by the rule of law. The Obama administration has decided to build a political legacy rather than lead the country. It is facilitating an illegal occupation that has grown wildly out of control. That the economy depends on a consistent and predictable permitting regime seems never to have crossed the president’s mind.
There is no doubt that Native American communities have historically suffered at the hands of the federal government. But to litigate that history on the back of a legally permitted river crossing is absurd. The Obama administration should enforce the law, release the easement and conclude this dangerous standoff.
Mr. Cramer, a Republican, represents North Dakota in the U.S. House. As a member of the North Dakota Public Service Commission (2003-12) he helped site the original Keystone Pipeline completed in 2010.
Senate Bill 1383 finally makes it official. Jerry Brown and his band of green lunatics now have declared themselves smarter than mother nature, and by assumption smarter than God.
The egomaniacs in Sacramento have now come out against motherhood, apple pie and the American Way.
They now want to regulate the amount and quality of bovine gas coming out of the rear end of bovines that reside in California.
There is a definition for this, it’s called BULL SHIT! (or BS)
It’s time California voters take the reins like was done in over 30 states in the presidential election, 2018 is just a short time away. Now the Dairy industry will be driven out of California like many others, by the regularity costs of doing business here. Don’t worry, when the new BS takes effect the price of dairy products will remind us,
It is what it is, and it’s BS!, for those operating on the politically correct curve that would be BOVINE FECAL MATTER.
☀ Trump 100 Day Plan ☀
–“The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation.”George Washington
The Redlands Tea Party Patriots thank everyone who is serving did serve and defend America.
To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, we “highly resolve that our veterans shall not have served and died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
🌙A Democrat’s Guide to Moving to Canada 🌙
November 10, 2016
By Dennis Evers
If you were one of the registered living or deceased Democratic voters who made a pledge that if Trump wins, you would be heading north of the border to escape the horrendous possibility of fewer taxes, less government intervention, and fewer handouts, this guide’s for you.
A few tips before you head north. First, if you do keep your promise, bundle up; 22 below zero isn’t uncommon in some cities, but the frostbite scars and missing appendages will make you a living testament to your integrity and show all those people in the lower 57 states you are a person of conviction. Summer isn’t that hot, although highs of 113 degrees have been recorded, but the intense humidity helps you sweat and keeps you more comfortable. Also, watch out for the state bird: it is actually a mosquito.
Once you have crossed the highly secure border — if your paperwork is in order — great things await you. If you are polygamous, each one of your wives can get welfare, too.
Because there is “gun control” you can rest easy, as government statistics show that roughly a third of murders are firearm related. On the down side, another third are stabbings, so you might get carved up like a Thanksgiving turkey, but that’s a small price to pay for not having dangerous guns around for self-defense. If you do find yourself with a steak knife sticking out of your torso, “free” healthcare will be something you can look forward to. If you have a job, you know just how large of a chunk of your paycheck is taken to providing this free service, but hey, depending upon which hospital you visit, they may get around to removing your steak knife in a week or two. However, if complications arise, the government “death benefit” will pay you a lump sum of $2,295.85 to be planted, if you can find a really good deal on a casket. Unfortunately, you have to contribute for ten years before you are eligible.
Housing: no problem. Assuming you were totally committed to honoring your promise, you went ahead and sold your Prius (after removing the Hillary bumper stickers) or, if you’re a “big Hollywood star,” your eco-friendly Hummer and your other worldly possessions, and are heading north. Keep in mind that the average price of a house in Vancouver runs $1,513,800.00, but if that’s out of your price range, you can pick up a deal in Toronto for around $450.000.00. If you want to save big and rent, and test the whole “Canadian” thing, rent is around $1,368.00 for a two-bedroom apartment in Vancouver, and in Toronto it costs around $1,288.00
Here’s something you’re sure to like: progressive laws forbid defaming homosexuals and other “special” people, so you could end up in jail for a non-government approved joke or opinion. However, as a dyed-in-the-wool lib, you should be right at home with the restrictions on speech and thought. Just like here, you’re entitled to your own opinion, as long as its government approved.
Good news for animal lovers. If you cherish kitty cats and cuddly puppy dogs, but feel that slaughtering the most helpless creatures on earth is okay, Canada has more laws protecting animals than it has for innocent baby Canadian humans.
By now you’re wondering about food, and if you can maintain your bourgeoisie, capitalistic, semi-vegan diet of humus, cheese, yogurt, wine, and other delights, the answer is a resounding “YES”! There is just one little problem: a gallon of good ol’ USA milk runs about $3.00 (just bought a gallon at wally world for $2.00) while it is upward of $7.00 in the great white north. You can still enjoy eating out, but expect to pay higher prices as the competition in the capitalist U.S. keeps the prices down here much lower. If you prefer to eat healthier, it’s only about $1.50 more a day, which works out to only about $550.00 a year per person.
While gas in the states is around $2.25 per gallon, it’s only $1.19 per liter. Wait, my bad — there are 3.78 liters in a gallon so gas is around $4.50 per gallon. You’ll probably wish you hadn’t sold your Prius before heading north.
If you are serious about leaving, you might consider a crowdfunding effort to help offset your expenses as almost everything in Canada is more costly, and there are a lot of us “deplorables” (more of us than you, actually) who would love to assist you in your transition.
It’s a win-win, and you really can’t put a price on conviction, eh?
Dennis Evers is a former small town police chief and best-selling author. He can be reached at: email@example.com