The fight for environmental sanity


Yet another oil spill

Bill McKibben, a college professor and environmental scholar, writes eloquently in the New Yorker that objections to oil pipelines—actual and proposed—that cut through North America (from Canada through the Dakotas and end in Texas) are a fight for environmental sanity.

Reasons for objecting to the pipelines are many, with the most salient reminder occurring less than 24 hours ago.

Some 210,000 gallons of oil “gushed out of the Keystone Pipeline on Thursday in South Dakota, blackening a grassy field in the remote northeast part of the state and sending cleanup crews and emergency workers scrambling to the site,” according to the New York Times.

News reports say the land in Amherst is agricultural.

For those of us with relatives who live in the Dakotas, we consider the area Indian territory.

Imagine if this spill occurred in your hometown.

The size of the spill—210,000 gallons—is like 4500 bathtubs of water poured into your neighborhood.

That’s the size of a small town like Philomath, Oregon, or Merced, California: about 4,500 residents.

Imagine if the folks in Philomath, Merced, or all the students at the University of Washington, Tacoma, had their bathtubs leak in your town.

But we’re talking about crude oil—not bathwater–dousing the landscape.

The oil that breached the South Dakota soil spilled from the Keystone Pipeline, which is run by TransCanada, the behemoth corporation that oversees all the pipeline projects that have been in the news, including the Keystone extensions and the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Although work on the Dakota Access Pipeline—which runs through Sioux burial grounds and sacred areas, and has the potential to leak into the watershed—was halted in Fall 2106, thanks to President Barrack Obama, the current president reversed the order, clearing the path for the pipeline.

Donald Trump is transparent about his support of the pipelines, and the oil companies greased his palm with a $100,000 contribution to his campaign, according to CBS news.

Trump “had an investment with the [oil] company of between $500,000 and $1 million,” said CBS.

The lesson is clear: the highest-level administrative decision-makers in our country lack ethical integrity and take actions that benefit themselves instead of the populations they purportedly serve.

17 November 2017

The Keystone map was downloaded from the BBC










About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
This entry was posted in american indian, Dakota pipeline, national native american history month, native american, Native American Heritage Month, native press, Native Science, nativescience, sioux and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s