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Pipeline Primer 


A friend told me that he found the various reports on the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock confusing ("We Travel in a Spiritual Way," Nov. 10).

For me, the key deciding points are:

The 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty set this land north of the present-day reservation as belonging to the native tribes, with agreement that natives would allow "peaceful passage." Indians are being arrested for trespassing on their own land. 

The pipeline was judged a threat to the drinking water of Bismarck and therefore moved south to a crossing upstream of the reservation. 

The crude oil that DAPL intends to transport is unrelated to our nation's energy needs and intended to further enrich wealthy exporters. Collateral damage will be worsening of the worldwide climate crisis. 

DAPL cheated us out of necessary environmental reviews by first building a small section that did not cross a waterway and then abusing a loophole in the law by claiming that each additional section required no review because it was only an addition to an existing project. 

DAPL was such a big project, with poor foresight, that its scheduled completion coincides with diminished Bakken output, rendering it superfluous.

There is more I could list. It's important to note that alternative, sustainable energy sources have now become less expensive than the chain of pre- and post-extraction costs for coal, oil and even gas, especially if we factor in the damage to land and water from fracking. There are cities, countries, and states within this country that are planning for 100 percent renewable energy sources within a decade or less. 

What we should be doing is clear.

Chip Sharpe, Bayside 

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