By: Katie Kieffer
Native Americans protesting the construction of the 1,200-mile Dakota Access oil pipeline: quit throwing rocks at police; stop setting cars ablaze; discard your “Children Don’t Drink Oil” signs—and join your fellow brothers and sisters in making America great again.
“We don’t have weapons. … We are looking out for … the children who are not even born yet,” Standing Rock Sioux chairman David Archambault II said to defend his 10,000-member tribe’s use of violence, aggression and disorderly conduct to protest the construction of the $3.7 billion Dakota Access pipeline.
“A line of sheriff’s officers retreated in the face of riders on horseback circling and yipping through the grass,” and local Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier relayed “reports of weapons and gunshots” and that “protesters were getting ready to throw pipe bombs at a line of officers,” according to the New York Times.
Over 400 tribe-affiliated protesters have been arrested so far in the tribe’s not-so-peaceful (and taxpayer-subsidized) protest that has been raging near Cannon Ball, N.D. since April. Hundreds of Native Americans have threatened construction workers and law enforcement officers—claiming the pipeline jeopardizes their access to the Missouri River and stifles their heritage.
For the children?
Native American children will, in fact, be far safer; live on a cleaner planet; and have more economic opportunities if we build Dakota Access. Native Americans can still be faithful to their ancestors and traditions and welcome modern progress that will make America a better place for all of us, including the progeny of the Standing Rock Sioux.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers studied the Dakota Access pipeline’s route, which traverses underground from the North Dakota Bakken oil patch to Illinois, hauling hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil daily to consumers in the Midwest and Gulf Coast. As part of its study, the corps meticulously interviewed representatives of Native American tribes—including Archambault’s tribe.
The corps found the pipeline presented no major threats the environment or tribal cultural sites. Yet, instead of accepting science and keeping their word, the same tribes that effectively gave their blessings to the project threw a tantrum. Tribal parents even set up a makeshift daycare for their toddlers on the prairie so they could sustain their public tantrum for the past eight months.
My message for Native American protesters: instead of squandering your lives by menacing cops by day and plotting schemes around a campfire by night—while accessing a state-sponsored medical supply trailer, portable bathrooms, and 500-gallon drinking water tanks—I entreat you to truly advocate for peace and support a pipeline that will make America better for you and your progeny. Let me explain.
Pipelines: Clean, Safe, Smart Energy
President-elect Trump will likely inherit the Dakota Access controversy. You may recall that President Obama’s administration shut down a similar project, the Keystone XL pipeline based on parallel protests. In the case of XL, as with Dakota Access, the protestor’s claims were demonstrably false.
Myth#1: “Pipelines pilfer the planet!”
The U.S. State Department not once; not twice; but thrice declared Keystone XL to be an environmentally sound project. Furthermore, it has been proven that crude transported by pipeline emits fewer emissions than crude transported by rail. And oil deliveries by rail escalated from 20 million barrels in 2010 to a whopping 323 million barrels in 2015 thanks to pipeline panic.
Oil pipelines are specifically designed to carry the extremely flammable form of crude produced by fracking whereas trains carrying crude are prone to hazardous derailments.
In 2013, a 72-car train derailed in Quebec—leveling over 30 buildings and killing 42 individuals. It is a miracle no one was killed in a 2014 derailment in Lynchburg, VA that occurred just outside of a children’s museum. In 2015, an oil train derailed in West Virginia that hurled a gigantic fireball up 20 stories. Hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude flowed into the Columbia River in June of this year after a train derailed in Oregon. Earlier this month, a 146-car train derailed in Minnesota—dumping hazardous chemicals and forcing around 700 people to evacuate their homes.
Myth#2: Solar, wind and electric can replace fossil fuels
Earth to environmentalists: wind power kills birds and solar power displaces natural habitats. Overall, green tech is not a job creator. Just last month, Mission Solar Energy closed its doors in Texas, eliminating 87 American jobs. Mission Solar’s closure is only one of many “green” companies that Obama’s administration forced you and me to help prop up—only to quickly buckle under. Even purportedly successful green companies like Tesla only exist thanks to monetary assistance from the American taxpayer.
Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk is a billionaire, but what do you and I have to show for his company’s profits? The option to buy his pricy deathtraps? A former Navy SEAL was killed by the Tesla S sports car’s “autopilot” technology in May and another driver was run off the road and bloodied by this supposedly superior “clean” car that Musk promised would “always take care” of its passenger.
I have no problem with electric, wind, or solar power. I do have a problem with subsidizing the so-called “renewable” ventures of billionaires—especially when their technology isn’t ready for the market.
Renewable energy companies wouldn’t stand a chance without funding from EPA-mandated subsidies. For example, petroleum refiner Valero is forced to purchase “renewable identification number credits” and effectively prop up renewables in order to stay within the EPA’s good graces.
Native Americans: better jobs, cleaner air, and a safer future for your children are yours if you only set aside your grievances—which have no foundation in science or spirituality—and join the rest of us in making America great again.