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Wed, Aug. 21

Talk of the Town: Dakota pipeline will benefit humanity, extend fossil fuel resources

The saga of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) (crude oil) continued with the Jan. 24 signing by President Trump of an executive order directing the Army Corps of Engineers to “review and approve in an expedited manner, to the extent provided by law” the easements across federal lands necessary to complete the construction of the DAPL. On Feb. 7, it was announced that the Corps had approved the subject easements.

The DAPL is a $3.78 billion project that spans 1,172 miles, beginning in North Dakota at the Bakken shale reserves, crossing South Dakota and Iowa and ending in Illinois. The project which had its inception during June, 2014, was progressing smoothly up to April 1, 2016, when a group of 200 Native Americans on horseback arrived somewhere along the pipeline route to protest its construction.

Since the “ride” up to the present, numerous events have occurred that have placed construction of the pipeline in a continuous on-again, off-again mode. Some of the more significant of these events included: (April 29, 2016) Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (SRST) petitions for a more thorough environmental impact study; (July 26, 2016) Corps approves final easements; (Sept. 9, 2016) A U.S. district judge rules against SRST. Later, U.S. Justice & Interior Departments order the Corps to halt construction near Lake Oahe; (Nov. 14, 2016) Dept. of Interior & Corps delays decision on permitting until further consultation with tribes; (Nov. 15, 2016) SRST supporters across USA & Canada hold a day of action to protest pipeline; (Dec. 4, 2016) Corps deny pipeline easement across Lake Oahe, thus halting pipeline work; (Jan. 24, 2017) President Trump’s executive order; (Feb. 7, 2017) Corps’ easement approval.

Concerning the protests, their primary sponsor is the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (SRST) which claims that their sacred lands are being threatened and the pipeline would put their drinking and irrigating water at risk.

Those responsible for pipeline construction counter that the pipeline does not cross Indian land and will occupy a utility corridor used by other permitted pipelines. Also, attest that a pipeline is the safest and cheapest means for transporting crude.

Being a strong advocate of “One World, One People,” it seems to me that “all humanity” would benefit more with a pipeline than without. I base this assumption on the fact that the quantity of our fossil fuel resources is finite and at current consumption rates will be exhausted within 300 years.

We have a responsibility to maximize recovery of the world’s fossil fuel resources and push their exhaustion into the future as far as possible. This can only be accomplished by extracting and transporting by the most efficient, safest and cheapest means available. By doing so, we will maximize the time available for developing the next stage in our world’s evolution and, thus delay Armageddon.

Ask not….(JFK)

Kenneth Server lives in Prescott Valley.

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