American Elephants

Sometimes a Picture Speaks More Loudly than Words by The Elephant's Child


The Standing Rock Sioux, a tribe of about 10,000, are leading the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline, which they claim could pollute the Missouri River, the tribe’s main source of drinking water, and harm cultural lands and tribal burial grounds.

The tribe is working with the environmental group Earthjustice and has filed suit against the Army Corps of Engineers, claiming the government didn’t properly consult them before approving the section of pipeline that runs near the reservation.

Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the pipeline, says it has followed state and federal rules, met with Native American tribes, and proposed different versions of the pipeline route. The pipeline is 92 percent complete, only the small portion near the reservation is being contested. The pipeline does not enter the Standing Rock reservation.

Aseem Prakash, director of the Center for Environmental Politics at the University of Washington contends that the conflict reflects deeper-seated grievances of Native Americans. Years of injustices and their preferences not adequately taken into account. The pipeline goes through private land, not the reservation, but the tribe contends the land was acquired improperly and actually belongs to them by the terms of a 1851 treaty with the US government.

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple ordered a mandatory evacuation of protesters. A group of military veterans have said they will join the tribes’ protest. CNN says ‘hundreds’ of veterans, but that’s CNN. There’s apparently a lot of fossil-fuel hatred in the mix as well. You can tell how deeply serious it all is by the fact that Jane Fonda and someone named Shailene Woodley turned up to serve Thanksgiving dinner to the protesters.

President Obama, who had approved the pipeline, reneged and halted it. The Army Corps of Engineers who had approved the pipeline reneged, and said they would have to reroute it, and that’s where it is at the moment. The map above, though humorous, clearly indicates the absurdity of the whole thing. Donald Trump is probably not up to either being fearful of fossil fuels, nor particularly sensitive to Native American angst about an 1851 Treaty that they’ve decided was unfair.

If the oil cannot be transported safely by a pipeline, it will be transported unsafely by train or truck.

6 Comments so far
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Sharlene Woodley is an actress in the “Divergent” movies, and a recent inductee into the Big Issues Turn Celebrities Half-witted society, of which Jane Fonda was a founding member.

The groups involved in this protest went forum-shopping trying to find a friendly judge. The tribe claims they had not been met with or spoken to – but that’s only because many in the tribe skipped the meetings, ignored the calls, and threw away unread the letters giving the details of this pipeline and it’s route, as well as giving people an opportunity to object.

And so, once again, people who really have no knowledge of the situation are trying to change something they don’t understand. And in the end, the pipeline gets diverted, and the Standing Rock tribe soon discovers that a lot of those pipeline related jobs won’t be going to them. The professional protest crowd, including the Hollywood hangers-on, all go on to the next bit of publicity.


Comment by Lon Mead

Once I knew Jane Fonda was involved it all became clear. I suppose age is no barrier to activism, and I gather that agents encourage environmental activism. British actresses seem to age much more gracefully, and slip into the old lady roles as the capstone of a long career. Ours just refuse to age.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

The woman who blew her hand off with an IED– they tried to claim the cops threw a grenade at her and then the police released the video of her propane bomb– has been arrested at similar “protests” in two other pipelines.

So they might have a couple of the pipelines there covered!


Comment by Foxfier

Yes, at “protests” like this, the theatre is more important than any supposed issues, because of a compliant media. It would be nice to have a little honesty instead.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

[…] transported from the Bakken/Three Forks production area in North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois. The state of the art 30 inch underground 1,172-mile pipeline will eliminate 500-740 rail cars and/or over 250 trucks needed to […]


Pingback by The Dakota Access Pipeline Protest Is Over — Their Disgusting Mess Left For Others to Clean Up. | American Elephants

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