Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Another Voice To Be Ignored

(Cartoon by Daniel Kurtzman, published the week of 3/3/13, and found here.  Click on image to enlarge.)

As of 2:00 PM (PST) on Monday 2/17/14, President Obama still had not announced his decision on the Keystone Pipeline.  As I noted earlier (here), it's an admittedly difficult decision.  No matter what he decides, there will be plenty of screaming from one side or the other.  So, he's continuing to listen and to weigh the issue.

A group I'm reasonably sure his administration has not been listening to is one which has a major stake in the outcome:  the Native American population located near the proposed pipeline.  In many respects, their concerns are even more serious than the rest of the people living alongside the construction.

Various tribes are trying to get their message out, and at least one major national news outlet is paying attention.

From the 2/16/14 edition of McClatchy DC:

In South Dakota, home to some of the nation’s poorest American Indians, tribes are busy preparing for nonviolent battle with “resistance training” aimed at TransCanada, the company that wants to develop the 1,700-mile pipeline.

While organizers said they want to keep their strategy a secret, they’re considering everything from vigils to civil disobedience to blockades to thwart the moving of construction equipment and the delivery of materials.

“We’re going to do everything we possibly can,” said Greg Grey Cloud of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, who attended a two-day conference and training session in Rapid City last week sponsored by the Oglala Sioux Tribe called “Help Save Mother Earth from the Keystone Pipeline.” He said tribes are considering setting up encampments to follow the construction, but he stressed that any actions would be peaceful. “We’re not going to damage anything or riot or anything like that,” he said. ...

Two weeks ago, an alliance of Native American groups approved a statement saying emphatically that no pipeline would be allowed in South Dakota and that tribes stand ready to protect their “sacred water” and other natural resources.

That includes Native women, who opponents of the pipeline say would become easy prey for thousands of temporary construction workers housed in work camps. According to the federal government, one of every three Indian women are either raped or sexually assaulted during their lifetimes, with the majority of attacks done by non-Native men. [Emphasis added.]

Now, me?  I would like the president to can the whole project, explaining to Canada and the rest of the world, that the US is finally ready to fully commit to energy sources that will not pollute in their use or transport.  Coupled with that announcement should be a proposal to fund further development and installation of alternatives to carbon-based fuel across the nation as a matter of national security

Far more permanent jobs would be created, and far fewer climate-changing chemicals would be dumped into the air, earth, and water.  Just as important, we would end our dependence on foreign oil and our foreign policy could be based on more rational and humane bases than it is at the present.

An old broad can dream, can't she?

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/02/17/218219/native-americans-vow-a-last-stand.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/02/17/218219/native-americans-vow-a-last-stand.html#storylink=cpy

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