One of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s main concerns with the Dakota Access Pipeline is the project’s crossing of the Missouri River. According to tribe Chairman David Archambault, “the Corps is taking our clean water and sacred places by approving this river crossing…Protecting water and our sacred places has always been at the center of our cause.”
The Dakota Access Pipeline has always been committed to providing low-cost energy as safety as possible. Pipelines are already the safest means of transporting crude oil—5 times safer than rail, 13 times safer than shipping, and 530 safer than trucking—and the Dakota Access Pipeline will be no exception.
Despite this fact, SRST protestors and other Cannonball activists maintain that the Missouri River crossing will severely threaten their communities downstream. What protestors don’t seem to want to acknowledge however is that there are multiple river crossings that exist already.
The Enbridge pipeline, for example, carries 161,500 barrels a day out of the Bakken region and across the Missouri. The Hiland Crude Gatherins System consists of 848 miles of crude oil gathering pipelines, with a gathering capacity of 220,000 bpd and a crude oil storage capacity of 175,000 bpd—and also crosses the Missouri.
All of these energy systems have been operating safely and effectively in the same area the Dakota Access pipeline will. The drinking water of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has yet to be threatened nor were any of these infrastructure projects protested as vehemently or violently as the Dakota Access.
Again, for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and protestors, the facts just don’t add up.