Opinion

John Kane: Keystone battle is about Native identity and land





John Kane explains why Native people are leading the fight against the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline:
One of the crazy things about this whole discussion is the lack of media coverage the actual tar sands oil extraction gets. Americans and Republicans, in particular, love to keep this conversation just about a pipeline; and you can be absolutely sure that FOX News and the Tea Party right will not be rushing to the aid of any ranchers, cowboy hats or not, that stand in the way of big oil profits. When Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy stakes his claim against the U.S. government – even at gunpoint under the clear threat of violence – cries of government oppression and praise to him as a patriot ring all over the political right.

But as this movement rages on – the movement that started on the Native lands in Alberta that are being raped by interests from China to Texas and, of course, a whole lot of Canada – the debate on the U.S. side continues to stay relegated to just a conversation about a pipeline. For most of us opposing this new “junkie’s vein” for oil, the absence of the pipeline is simply a bottleneck to slow the environmental travesty that is tar sands oil extraction. Of course, the pipeline absolutely presents a significant environmental risk on its own and, worse yet, the entire justification sold to the American public is a lie. It’s not about jobs; the pipeline will ultimately only produce about 40 permanent jobs. It’s not about energy independence; it is still foreign oil. It’s certainly not about securing a more politically correct supply for the good deserving people of this hemisphere; none of this “oil” is intended for American or Canadian consumption. It is all going to China.

Now don’t get me wrong. Alberta, Canada, the Koch brothers and a whole lot of “Big Oil” and all those others invested in tar sands oil stand to make billions. But the American and Canadian public? Nope! Just seized land for a dangerous easement from Montana to Texas and a wasteland the size of Florida will be left in Alberta.

Get the Story:
John Kane: It’s not Just the Pipe… It’s What’s in It (The Two Row Times 4/23)

Also Today:
Obama's Last Shot (Rolling Stone 4/23)

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