From my weekly column at Greed: “No Quarter”
(GREED) – When the news hit that the Army had stood down, that for a brief second it appeared the people might have a glimpse of what victory actually feels like in the face of impossible odds, I was about as far away from North Dakota as anyone could be. On some deserted Florida beach I had made camp, my communist bandanna flying violently in the wind as I guzzled tall-boy after tall-boy of cheap American beer. Bossa Nova from the 1960’s blared at full volume, a soothing weight to balance out the ever-familiar tension of a mind on high alert. I knew that the times ahead would be the most important and this pipeline business was now more dangerous than ever.
A quick overview of the facts: the Army Corps of Engineers, after facing the possibility of hundreds of military veterans acting as human shields, has decided not to the grant the easement necessary for Energy Transfer Partners to complete the Dakota Access pipeline, seemingly bringing an end to months of protests over the project. Cheers from the northern territories could be heard as faraway as Georgia and the internet was absolutely ablaze with congratulatory memes. The battle had been one, the pipeline would be moved, and one of the tribal leaders was even beginning to ask the nearly 5,000 people assembled to move along unless they belonged to the Sioux tribe.
Weird, isn’t it? Maybe I’m just too far away, maybe the large amount of free ions coming off of the waves and cavorting with booze-soaked brain matter has caused an unnatural reaction, an impervious shield against masturbatory pats on the back but…doesn’t this all seem a bit too easy? Doesn’t anybody remember the FIRST time we were told the battle was won?
On September 9, the Obama administration revoked authorization for construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) on federally controlled lands and asked the pipeline’s owners, led by Energy Transfer Partners, to voluntarily halt construction on adjacent areas at the center of protests by Native Americans and supporters.
However, at the same time the pipeline and protests surrounding it were galvanizing an international swell of solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and its Sacred Stone Camp, another federal move on two key pipelines has flown under the radar….
Within a two-week span in May 2016, as the Sacred Stone Camp was getting off the ground as the center of protests, the U.S.Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued presidential permits for the Trans-Pecos and Comanche Trail Pipelines. Together, the pipelines will take natural gas obtained from fracking in Texas’ Permian Basin and ship it in different directions across the U.S.-Mexico border, with both starting at the Waha Oil Field.
Even that was a joke, a judge quickly ruling the DAPL could continue on it’s merry way and fuck what’cha heard. Still, even if this most recent stop of the Dakota access line actually sticks what exactly has been won?
The Army Corps of Engineers announced it will look for an alternate route for the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota, not that it’s stopping anything. This is the equivalent of the State saying “you guys pissed off too many people and we don’t want images of a bunch of vets getting maced on the TV. You can keep building the pipeline, just stay off the Rez.” The same insanely dirty and insanely dangerous pipeline is still going to be built, still do massive amounts of environmental damage, and still connect to other pipelines. There will still be pipeline spills in many states and hazardous materials would still be shipped into residential areas right alongside schools and major traffic.
Excuse me for being blunt but this isn’t a fucking victory for anybody but the Sioux.
(Read the rest here)