Is the US Government taking control of Native American lands?


Last Updated: 6 years

The US Government is taking control of Native American lands and forcing them to allow oil developers to drill on their land and move oil via pipelines.

From watching what happened with the Tar Sands of Canada, we can get a good glimpse at what the land will look like after they’re done with it.

This is their proposed pipeline plans, to take natural resources from the US and sell them to Asian and European markets.

Native Americans say the pipeline threatens sacred sites and drinking water resources, and that no meaningful consultation took place. The Army Corps of Engineers disagrees. They said the tribe declined to be part of the process. The tribe in turn said they didn’t want to legitimize a flawed process. The company building the pipeline, Dakota Access, says the project is safe and will benefit the region and boost energy independence.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe sued the Corps over the permits the Corps gave to the developer, Dakota Access, to build on an area roughly half-mile north of the reservation, and through the Missouri River — as well as other federal waterways, and won a temporary injunction so the issues could be studied further.

Dating back to 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil disaster springs to mind when we mention the last 30 years of history regarding production and distribution of oil. This creates doubt in many regarding the future investments in antiquated resources as they feel there is no monetary value in further pursuing this path. Europe and Asia are ever striving for a reduced carbon footprint and greener energy sources, whereas America is more interested in nostalgic energy sources.

The Bakken pipeline is roughly 48 percent complete, officials said during a court hearing, and the line is scheduled to start delivering oil in January. Construction is ongoing almost everywhere else, though a small group of Iowa landowners managed to get a construction reprieve from state regulators.

Comparable in size to the more-famous (but rejected) Keystone XL, the Bakken pipeline is slated to be the largest oil line coming out of North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields, among the nation’s most active due to the fracking boom. The line would move up to 570,000 barrels of sweet crude oil daily through the Dakotas, Iowa, and Illinois.

The nearly $3.8 billion pipeline is slated to cross multiple watersheds in its more than 1,150 mile course. Aside from the alleged threat to sacred sites,critics say the pipeline brings the threat of spill damage to thousands of miles of fertile farmland, forests, and rivers. Federal agencies have said the Bakken Pipeline avoids “critical habitat.”

Most of the affected land is farmland, but the project does run through wildlife areas and major waterways like the Mississippi, and the Missouri, the longest river in North America.