If you’re wondering why “Standing Rock” and “Dakota Access Pipeline” are recurring topics popping up in your timeline, know that last night (December 4) welcomed a big victory for the long-standing protest against plans to drill under the Missouri river.
Since 2014, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have been fighting plans for Dakota Access Pipeline but it wasn’t until the last couple of months that it generated national attention. This, of course, was as thousands of protesters, including many Native Americans, gathered in North Dakota in an effort to block the 1,200-mile project. The big issue surrounding the pipeline, a $4 billion project built by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners and crafted to carry about 570,000 barrels of crude oil daily from North Dakota to Illinois, is the fact that it would travel underneath Missouri River, which happens to be the primary drinking water source for the Standing Rock Sioux, a tribe of about 10,000 with a reservation that sits at the central area of North and South Dakota. There is a fear that this procedure could cause a leak and damage the tribe’s water supply, despite builders of the pipeline insisting otherwise. There is also an issue that the pipeline could destroy a sacred burial ground.
On Sunday, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe won a major victory in the battle to block the pipeline after the Department of the Army announced that it would not allow it to be drilled under the Missouri River section. Federal authorities will look into alternate routes for the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahu in North Dakota.
The hard-fought victory comes as many artists and celebrities have joined in support for the protest. Actress Shailene Woodley was arrested in October while protesting, while members of Radiohead, Maroon 5, Sia, Vic Mensa and more recently signed an open letter to President Obama, Army Corps of Engineers, and the Department of Justice. Last night saw much vocal support from artists and celebrities for #NoDAPL online.
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