Debbie Lewis, September 8, 2016

According to a July 10, 2002 GPO report on Water Resource Management Issues on the Missouri River, “The Missouri River directly affects over 10 million people in eight Missouri River Basin States, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Montana, Kansas, and Wyoming. The management of this river is significant to the people in all of the States…”

So, Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, decided there wasn’t enough press covering his opinion, and he wrote an article in the Bismark Tribune discussing the other side. He is, of course, on the side of the pipeline…the side in favor of building the pipeline, which is his right. He makes the case that the pipeline will employ around 12,000 people over 4 states and raise $129 million is taxes. We need jobs in most places, so that seems like it would be a good thing.

But, when you take into account the millions of people who rely on the Missouri River for water and other things, including the wildlife for food, not to mention the sacred lands of the Native American’s, does a few thousand jobs seem a fitting argument for the pipeline? While we’re at it, the side against the pipeline argues, what happens to the water supply if something should happen to the pipeline? Those in favor of the pipeline seem to think that’s a bit of a stretch. Really???

Just last month in South Louisiana there were three consecutive oil spills. The same article reported that “the average volume of oil spilled annually in Louisiana is 330,000 gallons. That’s a lot of contamination. If that was in a main waterway, say one that supplies over 10 million people water, who knows how much damage that would do and when that would get cleaned up! Not to mention the damage and contamination an oil spill could do to the sacred land of the indigenous peoples there!

So, I must ask, is that damnable pipeline worth 12,000 jobs and $129 million in tax revenues? Yeah, I didn’t think so…