Keystone protesters disrupted work being done around the massive oil pipeline that is being laid in North Dakota. Thursday, about 400 people on foot and horses, came together to protest on the construction site of the Bakken Pipeline.
Among the people were dozens of Native Americans mainly from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and American landowners. For the time being, the protesters are winning because the construction of the massive pipeline has been put on pause.
The Dakota Access Pipeline, which is as impressive as Keystone XL Pipeline, will zigzag through Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Illinois. The pipeline will transport up to 570,000 barrels of crude oil a day and is more than 1,170 miles long.
In July, the Dakota Access Pipeline received federal approval and the same day the protest began. Some of the protesters, who fought the now infamous Keystone pipeline, are also against the Bakken pipeline for a long list of reasons that are listed below:
“It could potentially contaminate the tribe’s drinking water, along with millions who live downstream from it. Many of these pipelines not only transport sweet crude oil, but they also transport waste products as well – such as saltwater. This is not saltwater from the ocean, but a combination of contaminants, such as chloride and ammonia that can ruin the earth or water they touch.”
Another issue with the pipeline is the fact that it will cross sacred Native American sites between the Cannonball and Heart rivers. Sixteen members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe members were arrested, and the company decided to sue them.
In a statement issued by The Dakota Access Pipeline, it was revealed that they are also seeking restraining orders and unspecified monetary damages. Dakota Access LLC stated:
“We are working with local law enforcement on this situation to ensure the safety of our employees and the safety of those who live and work in the area.” They went on to add a particularly grim note, saying “We will press charges against anyone who interferes in the construction of the pipeline. Construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline will continue across all four states along the route.”
The Standing Rock is fighting back by requesting a preliminary injunction to halt the construction of the pipeline as it appeals the permits given to developers. The injunction claims:
“that the US Army Corps of Engineers, has taken actions in violation of multiple federal statutes that authorize the pipeline. The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) may have gotten ahead of itself, saying DAPL has initiated construction even though the regulatory process remains incomplete, numerous lawsuits have been filed against it, and significant public controversy surrounds the project.”
Experts believe that stopping the project will be hard.