by JESSICA YU
The Dakota Access Pipeline is a $3.7 billion project that, according to Energy Transfer Partners, would transport 470,000 barrels of oil a day across four states. This would in turn bring millions of dollars into local economies, and create an estimated 8,000 to 12,000 construction jobs. The pipeline has caused quite a stir for the past several months- especially among Native Americans.
The protests have been going on since the 1,170 mile long pipeline was approved this summer. According to members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, the pipeline is both an environmental and cultural threat to their homeland; if there was an oil spill, the reservation’s water supply would be permanently contaminated, and the construction of the pipeline which is already more than 70 percent completed, would destroy sacred sites where many of their ancestors are buried.
Hundreds of demonstrators, including actress Shailene Woodley, have been arrested. Although the protesters have been nothing but peaceful, police in riot gear have utilized tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets against them.
Last month, the Obama administration asked Energy Transfer Partners to “voluntarily” halt the construction of the pipeline, but the company rejected the request. Despite this, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its supporters, including virtually all environmental groups and celebrities, are committed to stopping the construction of the pipeline.