Stand-Off at Standing Rock Is Based on Money Not Principles


For quite some time now, a considerable amount of controversy has surrounded the Dakota Access Pipeline. Protesters are squaring off against the oil and energy companies in a battle that is drawing international attention to the issue.

What Is The Dakota Pipeline?

Source Credit: Energy Transfer Partners
Source Credit: Energy Transfer Partners

The Dakota Access Pipeline is a 1,172-mile-long pipe, transporting crude oil from production centers in the Bakken and Three Forks areas of North Dakota, to refineries in Patoka, IL. The pipeline will move approximately 500,00 barrels of oil per day.

It is a safer, more environmentally responsible, and cost-effective way to transport oil to support demand across the U.S. It also reduces reliance on trucking and rail systems as methods of transport.

The Dispute Is Not About Principles

Protests against Energy Transfer’s Dakota Pipeline Project began in the spring of 2016, led by LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, a Standing Rock Sioux tribe elder. Allard contends that the pipeline poses a cultural, spiritual, and environmental threat to their lands. Thousands of supporters are now rallying around the tribe to support their cause. However, their statements are not entirely true.

The first claim made by the Standing Rock tribe is that the pipeline encroaches on indigenous lands. It does not. The pipeline crosses private land with just over 95% of landowners voluntarily granting access.  

The second claim is that the pipeline will threaten their water supply. It won’t. In fact, the tribe’s water supply was already scheduled to be relocated at the end of this year.

Next, they are claiming that the pipeline will destroy areas of cultural significance. Again, not true. It will parallel existing pipelines and purposely avoids areas of cultural relevance.

Protests Have Not Been Peaceful

Source Credit: Washington Examiner
Source Credit: Washington Examiner

Protestors and the media are claiming this is a non-violent stand-off. However, protestors have been violent. They have also fabricated stories about injuries. For example, both mainstream and social media perpetuated stories and photos, like the one pictured here, that dogs were used to attack peaceful protestors. The problem? The girl in the photo was bitten by a dog in Texas…4 years ago!


Sophia Willansky is claiming police threw a grenade that severely injured her arm. North Dakota police are saying it is the other way around. Interestingly enough, it is the protestors who have been throwing improvised explosives and hurling rocks. Several police officers have been injured.

It Is All About Money

The real dispute over the pipeline has nothing to do with sacred lands or water supplies. It has everything to do with the fee for shipping oil the Sioux tribe is demanding. A demand that ETP is unwilling to meet. Nor should they have to.

Energy Transfer Partners made several offers to the tribe, including installing water monitors and building a fresh water storage facility. They also offered a rapid response team and emergency vehicles to alleviate safety concerns. All of their offers have been declined.

For the left, all is fair when it comes to love, war, and millions of dollars you haven’t earned. The stand-off at Standing Rock is no exception.

What do you think about the fabrications heightening the drama around this pipeline?