Anytime something as controversial as a pipeline is built, opinions and activists abound. We begin our show with a few listener mails, one from Vanessa who has some general comments, and one from Joanne who is very angry at the US Government. We read her email, and at the end of it she mentions the Dakota Access Pipeline, which happens to be our already scheduled topic for this week!
In the first segment, we discuss pipelines in general. Neither I or Brandon is particularly against pipelines per se, we are however concerned with the WAY the construction is done. Pipeline failures are all too common, and we do discuss a few instances. In places where the pipeline is underground, we wonder how deep? what sort of maintenance is done to prevent pipeline failures? and if (when) something does occur, what stretegies are in place to limit the environmental damage? In this case especially, because the Dakota Access Pipeline is scheduled to go under the Missouri River. For those who don’t know, the Missouri river is the longest river in the United States. That means it is sort of important. If a disaster were to occur in or near the Missouri, that would affect drinking water for millions of people. IF it’s safe, and IF they have all the proper controls in place, we are inclined to let it go. After all, with the pipeline already more than 20% completed, and more than 3/4 of the land already cleared and prepared, there is absolutely nothing anyone is going to do to stop it. Whether you agree with it or not, this pipeline is a done deal.
Our biggest issue, and it’s a huge one, is exactly the same problem the members of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation has. These bastards in the government consulted exactly zero natives about the placement of their pipeline (which incidentally is 0.5 miles from the reservation – upstream). AND THE GODDAMN PIPELINE THEN PROCEEDS TO GO DIRECTLY THROUGH A KNOWN ANCIENT INDIAN VILLAGE! A village of people who are known to have buried their dead underground in the village. So, we’re talking about a pipeline that runs at least 1170 miles… is it really so hard to make it an 1180 mile pipeline instead? Maybe make an effort to bypass the ancient Indian burial ground and, oh I don’t know, NOT disturb the dead? 2000 years from now, are future American descendants going to be okay with plowing through Arlington National Cemetery, just because it’s been a really long time and the new ruling power doesn’t care anymore? (Sorry folks, America as we know it isn’t actually going to last forever. It happened to the Romans and it’s going to happen to us too). No, I’m betting whoever is left from today’s America is going to put a pretty goddamn big fight to preserve Arlington, and I stand by the Standing Rock Sioux in their effort to not desecrate their treaty lands. As the leader of the fight says, all he wants is for them to not build it directly through their treaty lands. I think that’s a fair request. The United States and the folks building the pipeline did not follow protocol here, and I truly hope this project is stopped in court and forced to re-plan their route. As i said, it is definitely going to be completed, but treating the Standing Rock Sioux people like animals without rights is despicable and just plain wrong.
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Cliff and Brandon are both registered members of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians and host the Tribal Podcast each and every week with all our past episodes available online. They talk about native issues in the news and anything of interest to Native Americans!