This is why water protectors continue to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline, despite freezing temperatures and winter storms.
In case you missed it, “water protectors” have been camped out near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, since April in protest of the four-state Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL). The pipeline threatens to uproot burial ground, as well as contaminate the Missouri river. It’s because of this that activists have put their lives on the line.
In recent months, protestors of the DAPL have been maced, tased, shot with rubber bullets, beaten with batons, and even hosed down in freezing temperatures with water cannons. Now, even when it’s below 0 degrees F and snowstorms threaten to take lives, protestors – along with thousands of veterans – remain on the plains to prevent Energy Transfer Partners from continuing the pipeline’s construction.
The company might claim that the pipeline is the safest yet, but there is no 100% guarantee it will not burst. This especially rings true now that another pipeline recently leaked just 200 miles west of the DAPL’s build site.
KTVQ News reports that on Thursday, a six-inch line operated by Belle Fourche Pipeline leaked into the river northwest of Belfield in Billings County. By the time it was shut down, oil had traveled about 2.5 miles down the river, according to Spill Investigation Program Manager Bill Suess.
The leak began on a ranch and traveled into U.S. Forest Service Land. Reportedly, “no wildlife has been impacted,” but environmental advocates insist otherwise. Additionally, Seuss told the press that drinking water was not polluted from the spill.
“Any time a spill enters waters of the state, we view it as a significant spill and we take it very seriously. Although we don’t believe there were any impacts to the Little Missouri, we still take it very seriously because that is a scenic river.”
As soon as authorities were informed of the accident, cleanup efforts began on Thursday. The North Dakota Oil and Gas Division, as well as the health department, are in charge of clean up.
This news especially hits home for those who have been protesting the development of the DAPL. In 2015, Bridger and Butte pipelines – which is owned by the same company that owns Belle Fourche Pipeline – spilled as much as 50,000 gallons of crude oil into the Yellowstone River near Glendive. Because oil spills adversely affect the environmental, people have been protesting America’s dependance on fossil fuels for years. Only recently, due to the attention gathered for the DAPL, have so more jumped on the bandwagon. Other countries are investing in renewable technologies, activists claim, so when will the U.S. follow suit? Considering President-elect Donald Trump believe climate change is a “hoax” invented by the Chinese, investments in sustainable, green energy won’t likely occur anytime soon.
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