‘Water is life’ is the motto of the Dakota Access Pipeline opposition movement. The movement has drawn thousands to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. The Standing Rock Sioux oppose the construction of the pipeline on the grounds that it threatens their public health and welfare, water supply and cultural resources.
The $3.7 billion pipeline will span 1,168 miles and transport 470,000 barrels of crude oil a day from the North Dakota Bakken Region through South Dakota and Iowa to a river port in Patoka, Illinois. The pipeline would then link to markets and refineries in the Midwest, East Coast and Gulf Coast. It was initially planned to cross the Missouri River near the city of Bismarck and Mandan, North Dakota. Both city councils rejected the plan, citing concern over risks of possible contamination – including contamination of the state capital’s drinking water. As a result, the route of the pipeline was moved to a crossing half a mile from the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. The Standing Rock Sioux contend that a survey of cultural resources was not conducted, that a full Environmental Impact Statement was not conducted, and that they were not consulted.
The Standing Rock Sioux join indigenous peoples around the world who are fighting to protect their lands and water.