indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
The University of Tulsa College of Law - Master's in Indian Law
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Native Sun News: Native activists join anti-Keystone XL rally

Filed Under: Environment | National | Politics
More on: barack obama, keystone xl pipeline, native sun news, oglala sioux, south dakota
     

The following story was written and reported by Talli Nauman, Native Sun News Health & Environment Editor. All content © Native Sun News.


Native Americans joined other opponents of Canadian tar-sands mining and the associated Keystone XL Pipeline on Feb. 17 in Washington, D.C. rally PHOTO COURTESY/Shadia Fayne Wood – Project Survival Media for 350.org under the following agreement: creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/deed.en

National rally protests XL Pipeline
Indians and South Dakota legislators square off
By Talli Nauman
Native Sun News
Health & Environment Editor

PIERRE - As Native Americans joined other opponents of the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline for what was arguably the largest climate rally in U.S. history, the South Dakota Legislature called on President Barack Obama to approve the crude-oil pipeline permit.

The state Senate voted 30-3, on Feb. 14, to pass House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 1006, “petitioning the President of the United States and the Department of State to authorize the Keystone XL Pipeline.” The South Dakota House of Representatives had passed the bill on Feb. 12, with a 57-11 vote.

Meanwhile, in a written plea Feb. 16, Oglala Lakota activist Debra White Plume, founder of the Manderson-based non-profit Owe Aku (Bring Back the Way), declared, “We have to be brave and strong and take action to stop that pipeline and shut down the tar-sands oil mine.”

The resolution argues for the pipeline in the following terms: “The proposed Keystone XL Pipeline would help reduce our nation's dependency on oil originating from unfriendly nations and unstable areas of the globe; … would provide additional employment opportunities in South Dakota and across the Midwest; … would contribute much needed tax revenues to South Dakota, which would be funneled to essential local government operations and school districts; and the failure to authorize this project will only result in the shipment of the vital petroleum resources of Canada to nations in Asia.”

White Plume counters that mining the tar-sands oil, which comes from the mines in the boreal forest of the Alberta Province’s Athabascan River watershed, “has wreaked havoc on the lands and waters and all of life there, only to feed the insatiable monster of greed of the fossil fuel industry. The discussion must include the need to get off the fossil fuel train wreck that is ruining the earth to line the pockets of a few.”

“Letting that pipeline in is actually supporting the continuation of the tar-sands oil mine while it risks our sacred water here because it WILL leak and spill. And when it does, it cannot be cleaned up; the technology does not exist,” she added.

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard disagrees, saying: “There are proven technologies available to remediate groundwater contamination, and TransCanada, like any other responsible party, will be required to comply with the state’s petroleum cleanup standards.”

Like legislators, Daugaard is promoting the Keystone XL Pipeline. “I believe the project would be good for South Dakota,” he said in a constituent letter nearly a year ago. “This project will help strengthen our nation’s energy security and put thousands of Americans to work.”

Sabrina King, lobbyist for the 25-year-old grassroots non-profit Dakota Rural Action membership organization, noted however that “the legislature has consistently declined to require adequate bonding for new pipelines or to put in place an emergency response program to the spills that are guaranteed to happen.

“We feel it is premature and inappropriate for the legislature to ask President Obama to approve this project without first ensuring the safety of South Dakota’s people and land,” she added.

While the resolution is non-binding, King encouraged voters to contact their representatives about it, saying, “With its smooth passage through the legislature, we feel it is important to remind the 57 who voted for it that there are some unresolved issues.”

The lawmakers from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation voting district, Jim Bradford and Kevin Killer, voted against the resolution The Obama Administration in its first term twice denied a permit for the pipeline to cross into the United States and pass through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma in order to reach refineries and export terminals in Texas. The President argued that more time was needed to consider whether the proposal was “in the national interest” and that the government of Nebraska required a rerouting of the line to avoid contamination of the eight-state Ogallala Aquifer.

Since Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman approved an alternate route through his state in January -- albeit over the objections of residents’ groups defending the sensitive Sandhills ecosystem -- the Administration is slated to reconsider.

Canada’s Prime Minister Steven Harper has lobbied Obama intensely for the permit to aid the private company based in Calgary. Obama, during his 2012 campaign for a second term in office, appealed to Oklahoma oil industry workers by encouraging the building of the southern part of the $7-billion, 1,700-mile Keystone XL, which has since gotten underway.

However, White Plume warned, “People need to see the bigger picture and realize the kind of government they have that sets up the situation so they have to choose a job over stopping the biggest threat to the Ogallala Aquifer and all our surface water as well. The sacred water must be preserved for our coming generations,” she said. TransCanada Corp.’s earlier Keystone I Pipeline experienced 14 spills in its first year of operations. It received a cross-border permit despite four Sioux tribes’ intervention in federal court. Finished in 2011 it runs from Alberta through North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois.

Nonetheless, Daugaard noted, “There have been no main line releases. Each release occurred at a pump station due to failures of pump station equipment.”

The U.S. Transportation Department imposed 57 “special” safety conditions on what would be TransCanada Corp.’s second tar-sands crude-oil pipeline through the U.S. Great Plains. “If built, the Keystone XL Pipeline will be the most stringently monitored and regulated crude-oil pipeline ever built in the United States,” Daugaard assured constituents.

Among opponents that have passed resolutions against the pipeline proposal are the Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council, the National Congress of American Indians, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

In the wake of Obama’s State of the Union pledge to prioritize climate change issues, organizers of the President’s Day Weekend “Forward on the Climate Rally” called on him to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline. They claimed upwards of 35,000 people attended the demonstration and march on the White House, one of several mass pipeline protests since a Feb. 2011 manifestation on the White House lawn.

“The Yinka Dene Alliance of British Columbia is seeing the harm from climate change to our peoples and our waters,” said Jacqueline Thomas, immediate past chief of the Saik’uz First Nation in British Columbia and co-founder of the Yinka Dene Alliance (“People of the Earth”).

“We see the threat of taking tar sands out of the Earth and bringing it through our territories and over our rivers. The harm being done to people in the tar sands region can no longer be Canada’s dirty secret,” she said at the rally.

“We don’t have the billions of dollars that industry has. But we do have our faith that people will do the right thing to protect Mother Earth. The ‘Forward on Climate Rally’ shows that we are not alone in the fight to stop tar sands expansion and tackle climate change.”

Activists in 187 other countries associated with the 350.org climate-change watchdog group showed support for the rally. “On this momentous day of climate action we are joining the struggles of communities resisting extreme energy worldwide, from KXL protesters in Washington, to First Nations in Alberta, to the community of Pembrokeshire in Wales trying to keep tar sands fuel away from their shores,” participants. in Europe said in a Feb. 17 message.

“In solidarity with those resisting tar sands and other carbon-intensive industries across the world, we urge (Deputy Prime Minister) Nick Clegg and the U.K. government to back the labeling of tar-sands-derived fuel as highly polluting in the European Union Fuel Quality Directive (FQD),” they said in a petition to the government of the United Kingdom.

“Tar sands are undoubtedly one of the world's most greenhouse gas-intensive fuels, and the process of extraction uses vast amounts of fresh water and natural gas, destroying large tracts of forest, leaving lakes of toxic pollution, poisoning the ground water and directly impacting numerous indigenous communities,” the petition says. “With extraction rates set to at least double by 2035 … this could mean a 6-degree global temperature rise. If new markets for tar sands are cut off, projected extraction rates will be forced to slow. The FQD is key to not only closing off Europe as a large new market, but to setting a precedent for other states and jurisdictions to follow suit,” it concludes.

(Talli Nauman is Health and Environment Editor for Native Sun News. Contact her at talli.nauman@gmail.com)

Copyright permission by Native Sun News


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Study confirms high rate of violence against Native women and men (5/5)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs schedules meeting and hearing (5/5)
Native Sun News: Group aims to bring positive change to Rapid City (5/5)
Lakota Country Times: Rosebud Sioux Tribe updates education code (5/5)
Mark Trahant: Native candidates being left behind in big money race (5/5)
Brandon Ecoffey: Governor's comments harken back to painful era (5/5)
Ivan Star Comes Out: White domination in America is under threat (5/5)
Jennifer Denetdale: Navajo Nation panel examines gender violence (5/5)
Leader of Navajo Nation Council criticizes coverage of girl's death (5/5)
Sen. Rounds to seek system-wide review of Indian Health Service (5/5)
Elouise Cobell being considered for Presidential Medal of Freedom (5/5)
Nottawaseppi Huron Band to prosecute non-Indians under VAWA (5/5)
Gathering of Nations must find new venue after end of agreement (5/5)
Brothers awarded $450K for anti-Indian beating at New Mexico bar (5/5)
Eastern Shoshone Tribe pays $1.7M to acquire land on reservation (5/5)
Nambe Pueblo pays off remaining funds owed to gaming developer (5/5)
States with less Indian gaming presence rank higher for addictions (5/5)
Cowlitz Tribe hosts forums on casino construction and related work (5/5)
Editorial: New commercial casino won't hurt St. Regis Mohawk Tribe (5/5)
Navajo Nation reeling after arrest made in 11-year-old girl's death (5/4)
Bureau of Indian Affairs adds names to memorial for fallen officers (5/4)
Bureau of Indian Affairs updates list of federally recognized tribes (5/4)
Bureau of Indian Affairs finalizes rule for burial assistance program (5/4)
National Indian Gaming Commission selects first vice chair in years (5/4)
Lakota Country Times: Oglala Sioux Tribe assists vets with housing (5/4)
Native Sun News: Northern Cheyenne Tribe pushed to hold election (5/4)
Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribal Tribune: Tribes fight coal mine in Texas (5/4)
Jim Kent: Governor of South Dakota blissfully ignorant about tribes (5/4)
Ernestine Chasing Hawk: Who made the decision to kill Anna Mae? (5/4)
Suzan Shown Harjo: Delete 'off the reservation' from our discourse (5/4)
Simon Moya-Smith: Donald Trump sees Indian people going 'wild' (5/4)
Dina Gilio-Whitaker: Native issues are afterthought for candidates (5/4)
Blackfeet Nation to see $107M from Cobell land buy-back program (5/4)
Nooksack Tribe fires judge and loses attorney in enrollment crisis (5/4)
Democrat Bernie Sanders staying in race as last Republicans quit (5/4)
Choctaw Nation offered settlements in fatal casino bus accident (5/4)
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community fails to sell governor on casino (5/4)
Shakopee Tribe starts work on casino hotel and convention center (5/4)
Editorial: Work with Cloverdale Rancheria rather than fight casino (5/4)
Lakota Country Times: Governor lectures tribe about sacred lands (5/3)
Native Sun News: Navajo Nation chapter sues tribe over water deal (5/3)
Vi Waln: Rosebud Sioux Reservation plagued by abuse and assault (5/3)
James Giago Davies: Propaganda machine protects racist mascot (5/3)
Cronkite News: Sports teams turn to tribes for naming rights deals (5/3)
Steven Newcomb: Tricking the original nations into reconciliation (5/3)
Rosebud man selected as leader of South Dakota State University (5/3)
Klamath Tribes report results of election for leadership positions (5/3)
Leaders of Louisiana tribes in conflict over $48M relocation grant (5/3)
Choctaw Nation ordered to pay $11M for casino bus crash deaths (5/3)
Arizona reports 5.1 percent decline in casino revenue from tribes (5/3)
Timbisha Shoshone Tribe casino up for discussion at city meeting (5/3)
Schaghticoke Tribal Nation hoping to keep gaming lawsuit going (5/3)
Blackfeet Nation welcomes Interior Secretary Jewell to homeland (5/2)
Native Sun News: Family confronts man linked to woman's death (5/2)
Lakota Country Times: State shows cards in fight over sacred site (5/2)
Clara Caufield: Living in a state of emergency on my reservation (5/2)
Mark Trahant: Native newspapers and presidential endorsements (5/2)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.