The Dakota Access Pipeline

by Johnny Liang

What is so important about the the Dakota Access Pipeline? How is it affecting our lives? The Dakota Access Pipeline is a controversial topic in today’s society. If built, the pipeline will transport crude oil from North Dakota to other states. The pipeline is a three and a half billion dollar project funded by banks and the government. It will carry over four hundred thousand barrels of oil daily from North Dakota to Illinois. From Illinois, it will then link to other pipelines around the U.S. Around ten thousand temporary jobs will be available for the construction but only a few permanent jobs will be created.
The pipeline is much more detrimental to the environment and Native American culture than it seems. The construction of it will only contribute to accelerating the climate change and global warming the earth is currently experiencing. If a catastrophic event occurred, such as a leak or crack in the pipes, it can affect the Missouri River and contaminate the drinking water of the Sioux tribe. In addition, the land that the pipeline is being built on has cultural history. The Sioux Tribe currently resides a couple of miles from the pipeline but the land is part of their ancestors’ foreground. Creating a pipeline would ruin a central piece of Native American history.

The development of the pipeline also shows how society is progressing in the wrong way. Instead of investing into renewable resources like solar panels and turbines, the pipeline only contributes to the climate change. Without companies and the government taking initiative in reducing the use of oil and fossil fuels, the earth is doom for disaster.
Recently, individuals from the neighboring communities along with the Native Americans have united together to fight against the building of the pipeline. U.S. veterans from around the world have also participated in uniting together to stop the construction of the pipeline. In response to the protests, police have used pepper spray and violent physical force to remove and apprehend the protesters. Celebrities including Mark Ruffalo, Susan Sarandon, and Shailene Woodley have also joined together in protest. Shailene Woodley even got arrested for her peaceful rally. Hopefully, with the aid of celebrity help and mass popularity of social media, the movement to stop the building of the pipeline will expand.
Government and big corporations should not have the power to build next to the Sioux Tribe without adequate communication between the two. A majority of the social issues in the modern day is about achieving equal rights for all. The Native Americans are consequently being mistreated with this construction. Media and news outlets need to shine attention to the mistreatment of the Native Americans and the negative consequences it will have on the environment. The public as a whole needs to be more involved and informed in helping the Native Americans retain its rich history.

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