BISMARCK – As national media begins to finally cover the protests at the Dakota Access Pipeline site, awareness is growing surrounding the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe efforts to stop construction. Last week, Vermont Senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, announced he is also joining the opposition movement.
“Like the Keystone XL pipeline, which I opposed since day one, the Dakota Access fracked oil pipeline, will transport some of the dirtiest fuel on the planet” said Sanders. “Regardless of the court’s decision, the Dakota Access pipeline must be stopped. As a nation, our job is to break our addiction to fossil fuels, not increase our dependence on oil. I join with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the many tribal nations fighting this dangerous pipeline.”
The pipeline would transport oil from North Dakota to Illinois in order to deliver the raw product to the regional refining market.
In a letter written to President Obama, tribal and environmental groups stated the North Dakota pipeline would threaten sacred sites and potentially parts of the local drinking water supply. “If there were to be a spill, which history has taught us is not a question of if but when, it would constitute an existential threat to the tribe’s culture and way of life,” the letter declared.
Sanders stressed his concern on the continued use of fossil fuels “the major global crisis facing our planet today is climate change. The vast majority of scientists tell us that climate change is real, it is caused by humans and it is already causing devastating problems. They say that if we do not aggressively transition our energy system away from fossil fuels toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy, the planet we leave our children will be a much less habitable place.”