Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Standing Rock Protests

                Thousands of people have been protesting the building of an oil pipeline in North Dakota. The protests have continued for more than three months, and most of the protesters do not live in North Dakota. They are there to protest an oil pipeline project that has met all the legal requirements and is currently 85 percent complete.

                The protesters – “celebrities, political activists, and anti-oil extremists” – are basing their protest on emotions rather than facts, news reporters build on emotions rather than furnishing facts. The protesters object to the location of the pipeline being too close to the water supply of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. This should not be a problem because the pipeline will be located “92 feet below the riverbed, with increased pipe thickness and control valves at both ends of the crossing to reduce the risk of an incident, which is already low.”

                Representative Kevin Creamer, the Representative for North Dakota and a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, published an article about the Standing Rock protests for The Daily Signal. He writes, “This 1,172-mile Dakota Access pipeline will deliver as many as 570,000 barrels of oil a day from northwestern North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to connect to existing pipelines in Illinois. It will do this job far more safely than the current method of transporting it by 750 rail cars a day.”

                Creamer noted that company building the pipeline “is taking all necessary precautions to ensure that the pipeline does not leak” and there will be another “water intake” further downstream for the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

                According to Creamer, the Sioux leaders at Standing Rock have not met with either the pipeline company or the Army Corps of Engineers. “The Army Corps consulted with 55 Native American tribes at least 389 times, after which they proposed 140 variations of the route to avoid culturally sensitive areas in North Dakota. The logical time for Standing Rock tribal leaders to share their concerns would have been at these meetings, not now when construction is already near completion.”

                Creamer also notes that the pipeline is being built in the original area, which is south of Bismarck, North Dakota, rather than north of the city as the protesters claim. The company did not pursue the northern route because that course “would have affected an additional 165 acres of land, 48 extra miles of previously undisturbed field areas, and an additional 33 waterbodies.”

                Creamer’s article is very interesting and informative. He concludes, “The simple fact is that our nation will continue to produce and consume oil, and pipelines are the safest and most efficient way to transport it. Legally permitted infrastructure projects must be allowed to proceed without threat of improper governmental meddling.

                “The rule of law matters. We cannot allow lawless mobs to obstruct projects that have met all legal requirements to proceed. 

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