Dakota Access

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Dear Donald –

 It’s starting to get important, more important than ever, to separate the signal from the noise. There’s so much going on, and so many angles to take on each of them, that we all need to focus, look deeply, and identify the real issues and agendas underlying it all. For example, amidst all of the fake drama you tried to raise around your SCOTUS pick last night, there was a story that the the Army Corps of Engineers was ordered to grant the final easements necessary for construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). DAPL has been this thing that was kind of, but not really, in the news for most of the late summer and  fall, but it seems like most folks still don’t understand what’s going on. Vox actually has a decent explainer. 
In broad strokes, a Texas oil company wants to get more oil to market cheaper and is building a pipeline to do it. They want to build part of it through land that rightfully belongs to the Standing Rock Sioux and runs under the Missouri River about 1/2 mile away from their reservation. If the pipeline were to rupture, it would likely contaminate the Missouri River and flow into the reservation, where about 8,500 people live. The job was rushed by the Army Corps of Engineers who didn’t meet their legal obligations to fully consult with the Sioux, and have not adequately ensured the protection of cultural sites and water sources. The Obama Administration put a halt to the project until more reviews could be done. After all, it was rerouted away from Bismarck for similar concerns about water safety. 

Now, you’ve ordered that the company be given final go-ahead to proceed with the project, even though the Federal government has not met its obligations to the Standing Rock Sioux. 

All that being said, the CEO of the Texas oil company happened to donate $100,000 to the Trunp Victory Fund last year and now he stands to make millions. 

Through all of this, the message is clear. He little guy doesn’t matter. Rules and procedure don’t matter. Corporate profits and rewardingloyalty are all that matter. 

And I fear that you don’t believe most of us are worthy of your time, efforts, and protection. Especially when there’s a six figure donor in the next room.  

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