Image: The Nation
It has been just about eight months since the Sioux tribe began protesting the construction of the DAPL pipeline construction that was planned to go through the Standing Rock Reservation and their water source. The $3.7 billion, 1,172-mile, 30-inch in diameter Dakota Access Pipeline was designed to carry about 470,000 to 570,000 barrels of crude oil from Bakken and Three-Forks oil production ranges to North Dakota,which originally planned to cross the Mississippi River, the part currently in dispute.
The odds were stacked against the protesters as the police force grew and grew with more backfire starting with pepper spray and rubber bullets being used against protesters, so it is quite a relief to hear that the Army Corps of Engineers had halted construction of the pipeline. The Army Corps of Engineers are now reviewing plans to try and avoid the Standing Rock Reservation and the Mississippi River.
The tribe had claimed that the pipeline that they described as a “black snake” would have caused environmental issues with leakage, destroying the soil and infecting the water source on which they so heavily rely. They have stated their appreciation to the Obama administration to taking a look into this matter, but the battle is not yet over. The backlash of the DAPL construction has been so widespread, there have been protests such as the one on Sunday when thousands of veterans went to Standing Rock with constant Twitter posts stating their disapproval of the pipeline with #NoDAPL.
There are ups and downs for the construction of the pipelines creating an agricultural-economic struggle. On one side, the pipeline may cause leakage which would harm the ecosystem and pollute water resources. At the same time, it would employ thousands of Americans as engineers and supply energy to much of the United States which in turn would lower much of the high gas prices we face as a nation and further improve our economy.
This strong win for the Sioux tribe has created new hope for the protests, yet it may be too early to actually say that it is a done deal. There is still a long waited dispute in Washington D.C. to truly say if the deal to go around the Mississippi River will stand or be denied, but until then, it is for the best to hope and pray for the deal to go through.