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Tribe has opened vital conversation
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Tribe has opened vital conversation

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For about a decade, North Dakota fought for the University of North Dakota to maintain the mascot name of Fighting Sioux. Yet, we seem to have very little concern over the opinions of actual Native American Sioux tribes.

David Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, made it known in 2014 that Standing Rock did not want the Dakota Access Pipeline to pass through its currently planned route, citing safety and environmental concerns about its impact on their water supply. Some believe that wasn’t enough. This is perplexing because similar concerns were posed when the original plan for the pipeline was to pass through Bismarck. These concerns were heeded and the project was subsequently relocated to Standing Rock.

North Dakota is filled with proud farmers, fishermen and hunters, enterprises that all rely on our environment. Yet, when this pipeline, being operated by an ETP subsidiary, Sunoco Logistics, seeks to traverse over such a vast geographical distance, and several water bodies, people don’t seem too concerned with the environmental impact. Unfortunately, that is because most people are unaware that, according to governmental data publicized by Reuters, Sunoco has had more crude oil spills than any of its competitors (more than 200 leaks since 2010). It is also important to note, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, there have been 11,208 pipeline incidents in the U.S. over the past 20 years (3,792 in 2010-15).

We should actually be thanking Standing Rock for bringing this crucial environmental conversation to the forefront, not demeaning their efforts. Thank you, Standing Rock.

When people all over our country and even abroad are standing with Standing Rock against the Dakota Access Pipeline there may be a reason. Perhaps, it might be time for North Dakota to listen.

Jeremy Wood, Jamestown

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