ShadowProof has given us some much needed coverage. Still asking mainstream media, where the hell are you all? There are a thousand stories to be told, at least. So many stories. And there is one hell of a big story, if you can manage to pull your heads out of oil’s backside.
The Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota will not only impact the environment but also lead to an influx of out-of-state workers and increase crime, drug use, and sex trafficking, according to an indigenous columnist.
If completed, the pipeline, also known as the Bakken Pipeline, would travel from North Dakota to Illinois through 50 counties in the United States and transport crude oil. A data sheet published by Dakota Access, LLC, indicates it is a $3.7 billion “investment” intended to run some 1,172 miles, or 1,886 kilometers. It is expected to “transport approximately 470,000 barrels [of crude oil] with a capacity as high as 570,000 barrels per day or more.”
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe launched a protest encampment called the Sacred Stone Spirit Camp back in April, but in recent weeks, demonstrations against the pipeline have intensified, as thousands have traveled to the camp to support the struggle of indigenous people against Dakota Access.
Ruth Hopkins, a Lakota and Dakota of the Oceti Sakowin, or Great Sioux Nation, and an enrolled member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota Nation, told Shadowproof oil development tends to bring in a lot of non-Native men from out of state who do the work, often on a temporary basis. This influx of transient workers “brings an increase in crime, drug use, and sex trafficking. The Bakken is a perfect example of that.”
As the oil boom began, North Dakota saw a major population spike, and the state’s law enforcement, particularly on reservations, wasn’t prepared.
“We don’t have the kind of funding necessary to combat crimes waves, and there are special concerns regarding jurisdiction on tribal lands,” Hopkins said. “As a tribal judge on a nearby reservation, I witnessed the effects of this oil boom. It pushed the tribe to the point of declaring a State of Emergency due to rampant drug use.”