Mid-Missouri activists join fight against crude oil pipeline

1 year 7 months 3 weeks ago Wednesday, August 24 2016 Aug 24, 2016 Wednesday, August 24, 2016 1:15:00 PM CDT August 24, 2016 in News
By: Landon Burke, KOMU 8 Anchor
loading

COLUMBIA - In the wake of national protests over the construction of a new crude oil pipeline, activists in mid-Missouri are rallying against the project.

If constructed, the Dakota Access Pipeline would transport crude oil approximately 1,172 miles from North Dakota to Southern Illinois.

The pipeline will not physically enter the state of Missouri, but local environmentalists said they oppose the project because it will cross the Missouri River in North Dakota. The activists fear pollution from the pipeline would flow downstream, and harm the local environment. 

The pipeline will travel through more than 50 counties in four different states. Project engineers estimate the it will move and average of 470,000 barrels of crude oil every day. 

Below is the official route map of the Dakota Access Pipeline, courtesy of its parent company Energy Transfer Partners.

The epicenter of the national movement against the pipeline is in North Dakota. In July, an environmental group filed a lawsuit on behalf on the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. It believes the construction will pollute its local water supply, and decimate lands that are protected by a hundred-years-old treaty between the federal government and the Native American tribes.

Columbia resident Perry Bigsoldier is of full Native American heritage. He said, though he does not belong to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, he maintains a close connection to the people there.

"My mother belonged to the Sac and Fox tribe, and my father was an Otoe," Bigsoldier said. "The Sioux were our neighbors. I would even say that they're our relatives. We probably fought a little bit with them, rejoiced with them and hunted buffalo with them."

Bigsoldier said he sympathizes with the Native Americans in the Dakotas.

"The treaties are saying that, 'ok, this is your alloted land, and that it is protected.'" Bigsoldier said. "That's the main thing they're fighting about up there." 

KOMU 8 News reached out to a spokesperson for the pipeline. While she did not agree to an interview, she did issue a statement.

Vicki Granado said her company has decided to temporarily stop construction where the protests are the most active.

"We have temporarily deferred grading activities across a short section of the right-of-way while law enforcement works to contain the unlawful protests, in light of the fact that we have the necessary permits and approvals to work at this site," Granado said.

Bigsoldier responded to the statement by saying the pipeline's business permits mean nothing if they are trespassing on a reservation.

"Your paperwork has no jurisdiction on Indian land," Bigsoldier said. "According to the treaties."

Company executives behind the Dakota Access Pipeline said they will financially compensate landowners who are affected by the construction. 

However, Bigsoldier said that will not convince the tribes.

"We don't want the money," he said. "Indigenous [people] across the world, they just want their land back."

In addition to the Native American community, environmental activists across the United States oppose the pipeline.

On Sunday, around 40 mid-Missouri activists gathered at Cooper's Landing on the shore of the Missouri River for a somewhat impromptu protest.

Bigsoldier acted as an unofficial keynote speaker at the gathering. 

He said he had been following the protests in North Dakota very closely. He said he wanted to join the protest effort, but could not afford to travel up to the Dakotas for a demonstration. He said that is when he and another activist had the idea to organize a local demonstration, with just a few day's notice.

During the protest, Bigsoldier tried to explain the plight of his people. 

"Since 1492 we've been fighting this same battle," Bigsoldier said. "We've been quiet, as a people. But that's no longer necessary. We're not taking it anymore. We're standing up for what's right."

Julie Donnelly attended Sunday's rally. She said she and her husband recently returned from a visit to North Dakota, and they witnessed firsthand the environmental toll of fracking and drilling. She said the conditions in the north will find their way down south.

"All this activity with the oil and gas, it's coming downstream to us," Donnelly said. "Anything that happens there affects us. And not just us, but our children, and our children's children."

Bigsoldier said the pipeline project should strike a chord with all mid-Missourians.

"It's everybody's water," Bigsoldier said as he pointed to the shore of the Missouri River. "I don't know if you've ever just taken all this is in, but you need to. This beautiful thing that we have over here is at risk."

Pipeline project leaders said they follow every state and federal regulation when it comes to design, construction and maintenance. The creators even go as far to say that, in many instances, they exceed government safety standards. They said underground pipelines are the safest mode of transporting crude oil, and every joint in the pipeline will be inspected visually, with an X-ray machine, to assure there won't be any leaks.

However, Donnelly said the company is making a promise it can't keep.

"Every pipeline leaks," Donnelly said. "And when it does, that leaked oil will pollute our river."

While the construction near the North Dakota protests has temporarily halted, the pipeline spokesperson said work on the project continues elsewhere. As the project awaits the lawsuit ruling from a federal judge, neither side appears to show any side of giving in.

 

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - A traffic safety education program, First Impact, taught parents the ins and outs of putting their teen... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 8:03:00 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Judge Rex Burlison, 22nd Judicial Circuit (St. Louis City), ruled Thursday not to dismiss the criminal case... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 8:01:00 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
LAKE OZARK - An Osage School teacher is being charged with 1st degree statutory sodomy and a second charge of... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 5:23:00 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) is cutting 17 professors and administrators. University officials said... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 3:03:20 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- A St. Louis circuit court judge ruled against the dismissal of Greitens' court case Thursday. Regular session continued... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 3:02:00 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Fire Department used the former Macy's building off of Stadium Blvd. on Thursday to train its... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 1:58:00 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Police said a man was stabbed in the neck in the 2900 block of Range Line Street Thursday... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 1:37:00 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
FORDLAND (AP) — Officials said a maintenance worker died when a Missouri television station tower collapsed and he became trapped... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 12:31:00 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
CLINTON (AP) — A Missouri woman accused of dealing drugs from a home where an ex-convict fatally shot one police... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 12:01:48 PM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
MONTGOMERY COUNTY - Deputies identified a man whose body was found tangled in fishing lines on Wednesday as Timothy G.... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 11:47:00 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Sen. Maria Chappelle Nadal, D-St. Louis, said the unknown substance on envelopes sent to her on Thursday... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 11:41:00 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri Senate panel has declined to advance a proposed tax overhaul following estimates that it... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 11:09:33 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A 65-year-old man who was a major heroin dealer in the Kansas City area has... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 10:45:26 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS - A judge announced Thursday he will not dismiss the criminal invasion of privacy case against Gov. Eric... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 10:02:00 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Prosecutors said a man shot by suburban Kansas City police in January has died, but... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 9:22:59 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The third annual Unbound Book Festival kicks off tonight, facing questions over its leadership's commitment to diversity and... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 8:49:00 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
LAKE OZARK - Firefighters are looking into the cause of a fire that killed four children left home alone early... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, April 19 2018 Apr 19, 2018 Thursday, April 19, 2018 8:16:00 AM CDT April 19, 2018 in News
TIPTON – Residents gathered at the Tipton Country Club to voice their concerns about the potential building of a concentrated... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, April 18 2018 Apr 18, 2018 Wednesday, April 18, 2018 7:47:00 PM CDT April 18, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 45°
11pm 43°
12am 42°
1am 41°
2am 40°