By Nathan Barton
Fresh news from North Dakota, that the acting Secretary of the Army may issue a record of decision as soon as Friday the 10th of February, which will allow the DAPL (Dakota Access Pipeline) to be completed has people in a tizzy. The pipeline’s completion and use will destroy and permanently damage identified sacred-land (so recently identified that it was not known to exist when the environmental assessment was done just a couple of years ago). (I’m being sarcastic.) AND it is guaranteed to irreparably pollute Lake Oahe and the entire Missouri and Mississippi Rivers downstream to the Gulf and thus destroy the water supply for millions of people (including several thousand Lakota). Never mind the other several dozen pipelines that have existed under the river (upstream and downstream), many for decades, that have not done so. DAPL is the straw that will break the camel’s back.
But the horror has already begun.
KFYR-TV reports that “Sanitation crews work to remove massive amounts of garbage from DAPL protest camp before spring thaw.” “Sanitation crews are working hard to dispose of six months’ worth of garbage from a community the size of Wahpeton or Valley City [about 8,000]. The mountains of debris need to be moved before the spring thaw occurs.
“Making a dent in the immense amount of trash being hauled out of the Oceci Sakowin protest camp is being hindered by the weather. All the garbage that was left behind is now frozen into massive chunks of junk. In a month, all this trash could become toxic.”
As Mama Liberty notes: “So much for concern about the “sacred” land there, or pollution from the oil. If each of these people had taken their own trash OUT, as any decent person would do after camping, there would not be such a mound of trash for taxpayers of the area to remove.”
A follow-up news story from KFYR reports that members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (SRST) administration have stated that “donations will pay” for the protest camp clean-up, now underway by SRST solid waste program personnel and a local contractor operating loaders, dump trucks, and other heavy equipment to collect the waste and deliver to a landfill, to protect the public health and environment. I suspect not a pound of that will be recycled.
While Mama Liberty notes this is a good thing (the donations), Debby and my first reaction was that the “donations” will come from the FedGov via the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Indian Health Service, and USDA – the usual agencies paying for municipal services and emergency response on poverty-stricken reservations.
As for the SRST administration, people (especially those that live under their jurisdiction and employed by them) know not to trust the Tribal Council and other elected officials, and that includes the overlapping county governments, especially the state government.
But these officials clearly understand the environists and activists who scream out for action and prevention of other people from going about their business to provide necessary goods and services to voluntary buyers. These people fall into two categories:
- Those naive enough to trust in government to do the “right thing,” and
- Those who are as hypocritical as the government officials, know that the right things will not be done, but that pious words will be spewed and the situation exploited to provide the government officials (and the environists and activists) with more power, more money in their pockets, and more opportunities to do it all again.
Most of these activists and officials, and nearly all the environists, are liberals and Tranzis, staunch allies, beneficiaries, and enablers of governments. The completion of the DAPL is a setback for their immediate goals. But never mind, they’ll soon come up with ways to exploit DAPL for their own benefit, while pretending to have the best interests of the tribal members and other residents of Standing Rock, North and South Dakota, and all the way to New Orleans (which is, of course, another example of this same sort of game).