That contentious oil pipeline being built across the Standing Rock reservation’s water supply has a revealing history. It wasn’t originally supposed to go there!
As Bill McKibben explains for the New Yorker, the pipeline was originally supposed to cross the Missouri River near Bismarck, but it was moved over concerns that an oil spill at that location would have wrecked the state capital’s drinking water. As a result, the pipeline was shifted to a crossing half a mile from the reservation.
All the white folks in Bismarck didn’t need to camp out and get shot at and blown up and frozen in order to express their disapproval — a few words of “concern” and oil executives decided to pick a less important population to poison.
But don’t worry. I now have a solution to the whole problem.
As relayed in a memo to employees, the company insists that “concerns about the pipeline’s impact on the local water supply are unfounded.”
Excellent! So just pack up and move the thing to the original, planned location, which isn’t full of uppity, fractious natives who are willing to fight for their land.
I’m glad that was so easily solved. I’m sure the residents of Bismarck will find that memo totally reassuring.