North Dakota is a pretty boring state. Nothing really interesting goes on there except it snows a lot. The United States also gets a lot of its oil and gas from the state, on average of over a million barrels per day. Thus this state is very important to overall US oil/gas production and part of our national security. Many people haven’t really bad attention to this important state till this little protest started over the summer, at a place call Standing Rock.
These protest have irrupted over a pipeline. This pipeline, like many others, is taking oil from the oil fields in North Dakota to trains and more pipelines in Illinois to get refined and then sold. Protest have flooded in from around the country to protest everything from land rights, to the militarization of the police to water. There are mixes of people who are their protest, the college do good crowd, the Native Americans from various tribes and then the local folks who feel as they don’t want to passed over.
Little was known about these protestors as most of their actions weren’t picked up by major news media channels. There have been more pressing issues at hand the past few months and not many thought this protest would last very long. Now that the election is over, news channels have looked to the next issue at hand, this one is far up their list. Both sides have started to cover these protest, from Breitbart to CNN. Everyone is now talking about this issue and it has become the new dividing issues, either you want the pipeline or you are for Native and water rights.
The issue at hand is not very simple and the future looks uncertain for the pipeline. The main arguments for and against are pretty straight forward: Protecting water and land. It is clear that the Native Americans, much like every other race in US history, has been screwed by the federal government at various points in their interactions. Now people are standing up for them, trying to make up for the centuries of miss treatment. The pipeline goes over sacred land, though it made it through the courts that the pipeline wasn’t on their land given to them by their 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie. This originally gave them this land but it was then taken away. The second major issue is water, in a time where water rights are becoming ever more important and contamination from oil is a big issue. Though what isn’t noted in the protest, are that the new pipelines are new and not prone to leakage as their old predecessors are. The other issues are the river crossing that this pipeline does. The protestors don’t realize that the oil would go further into the earth and not rise and go into the water if it were to leak under a water source.
The use of force by police has been another major issues that has been brought up nationwide. People believe police are to similar to the military and need their guns taken away. There have been many reports of excessive use of force by the police on peaceful protest.
All these issues have brought this once boring state into the national spotlight and bringing pressure to the nations leaders for action. Obama is about to leave and Trump is ready to profit off this pipeline, so times ticking for action.