Why are Activists Fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline?According to activists and environmentalists fighting the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline, it could potentially contaminate vital waterways that provide the Midwestern U.S. with drinking water.

The Dakota Access Pipeline, which is also referred to as the Bakken Oil Pipeline, would be able to transport approximately 500,000 gallons of crude oil per day through the heart of America – from North Dakota through South Dakota, Iowa and into Illinois.

According to earlier oil and gas exploration the U.S. Geological Survey states that the Bakken Formation may hold as many as 7.4 billion barrel of untouched oil. This is a great find, but unfortunately the extraction and transportation of this oil could cause irreparable damage to the environment.

The North Dakota Pipeline would flow beneath the Missouri River, from which most of the Midwest receives its water, which is why one of the major concerns around the pipeline is about what impact it may have on the drinking water.

The pipeline would also threaten sacred tribal lands, disturbing the sacred, ancestral tribal lands of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, established as part of the Great Sioux Reservation under the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie.

Research consistently shows that virtually every oil pipeline that has been built inevitably leaks and causes significant damage to the environment and living organisms in the area. Any leakages would result in peril for Standing Rock sacred sites and drinking water,” according to The Volante.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe relies heavily on the Missouri River as source of clean water:

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is arguing in court that the Dakota Access Pipeline was fast-tracked by the federal government, which is a direct violation of the Tribe’s rights as a sovereign nation because it will hurt the Tribe’s safe drinking water and historic and cultural resources. The Tribe has asked the United States government to conduct a more stringent environmental review to ensure the protection of the Tribe’s treaty rights and sacred places.” reported Indian Country.

Dakota Access, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Crude Oil Company, LLC and the federal government, both stand to profit hugely from the project. According to data provided by the National Transportation Safety Board, pipeline accidents are abundant and include fires, explosions, propane releases, oil leaks and more.

Researchers at the University of Michigan found that the Bakken field is emitting about 2% of the world’s ethane which, combined with combustion of Bakken oil, are major contributors to the Global Climate Crisis.

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