In the first week of the Trump administration, The Donald has issued a flurry of executive orders, many of them surprisingly positive. Ending the TPP, withdrawing U.S. support for abortion overseas, and a planned “renegotiation” of NAFTA have all brought praise from a number of corners. However, Trump’s recent order renewing the construction of the DAPL pipeline (Dakota Access Pipeline) as well as the Keystone XL (Trans-Canada Pipeline) has not been well-received except within pro-big business and Big Oil circles.
And for good reason.
To be clear, while many protesters have opposed both pipelines on the basis of man-made CO2-based “climate change” fears, there are more important aspects to the pipeline and its construction than phantoms of global warming/cooling invented by elitist think tanks and governments for the purposes of returning the world’s people to impoverished living standards under the guise of protecting the earth (at vastly reduced numbers of course). On the other side of the fence, most of the proponents of the pipelines have supported the project because they see corporations as “jobs” and “energy independence;” property rights, drinking water, and the environment be damned. For many of them, no amount of environmental damage is worth being concerned about.
Realistically, however, the United States and the rest of the world need energy and that, for now at least, means oil. So while acknowledging the necessity of oil to our economy and survival as it stands, we must also acknowledge that there instances in which environmental risk or the loss of citizens’ rights should prevent certain projects from moving forward.
The Dakota Access Pipeline and the Keystone XL are two examples of projects that should be either stopped or at least restructured so as to eliminate the destruction of private property rights, of Native American (and thus American) heritage, and drinking water supplies.
Trump’s new order has essentially reignited a controversy that need not be reignited and will serve only Big Oil in the long and short run.
The Sioux tribe in North Dakota has long been at the forefront of the fight against DAPL, arguing that the pipeline goes through their ancestral burial ground and that they were not properly consulted when the pipeline was drawn up. The United States government is once again keeping with its tradition of refusing to honor the treaties with Native Americans. Yet the concern also lies with the fact that the pipeline is designed to travel underneath a water source, Lake Oahe, that provides drinking water to over 17 million people, non-native Americans included. One mistake – one more pipeline “leak” like we saw in 2016 on several occasions – and 17 million people are without a clean water source.
And for what? Cheaper gas? Energy independence? Both are goals we must try to achieve as they are both vital to the American economy and even national security. But if energy independence is the goal, then why is the United States selling so much of the oil it produces in America to foreign countries? Why doesn’t that oil stay in America? The oil from DAPL is no different. It, too, despite all the controversy, appears to be up for sale to other countries. If cheaper fuel prices are truly what we are after, then why is Wall Street allowed to speculate the price of oil through the roof?
Lastly, if energy independence is our goal, then why are we killing ourselves to find new and sometimes much more dangerous ways of extracting a finite substance from finite areas of harvest? Why would we not be exploring and developing methods of clean, renewable, environmentally friendly, and free forms of energy?
And what of the little-discussed issue of Eminent Domain? Both the Keystone and DAPL projects will be completed by the theft of land owned by ordinary Americans – workers, farmers, and people who have their whole family history tied to their land. Both Energy Transfer Partners and TransCanada have already tried to wrest land away from homeowners and farmers for the project.
So, once again, Americans will have their property, history, and livelihood simply taken from them for the benefit of massive corporations and Big Oil. Half of the rest of the country will simply cheer on the corporations, however, because they believe they will pay a few cents less at the gas pump or because they feel America will finally be free of “our dependence on the Middle East” for oil. “Environmentalists” and “dirty protesters” are finally getting shown who is boss. Meanwhile, the other half of the country will be mired in futility, crying about global warming and carbon footprints, ensuring that anyone who desires reasonable living standards will totally ignore them.
America needs energy independence. It also needs clean, free, renewable energy. It needs an environment and a culture that values individuals more than the market and business. We do not have to choose between energy austerity and our environment or our rights. We can have the energy we so desperately need, our environment, and our rights at the same time.
We should strongly encourage both the Trump administration and the Keystone/DAPL protesters to consider the following ideas as a potential solution to our current problem. For the administration, these points are a roadmap for policy. For protesters, they are a list of demands. They are as follows:
- Halt construction of the DAPL/Keystone pipelines until acceptable locations for transit are found that do not involve Eminent Domain or traversing water supplies or environmentally sensitive locations.
- Direct that American-produced oil can only be sold in America with some alterations in policy related to consumption. Oil producers should not be punished for producing oil and forced to lose money if demand does not keep up with supply. However, America’s energy independence should not be subject to the whims of corporations and the market. Fuel and energy are too important for the American economy. Prices should be kept at a reasonable level – no gouging because world markets are no longer fully available.
- Halt or crack down on dangerous forms of speculation that drive up the prices of oil.
- Immediately embark upon a Manhattan Project level effort of scientific development, using credit tranches from a nationalized (even partially nationalized) Federal Reserve to develop viable alternative methods of energy, power, and fuel. The goal should be clean, safe, renewable, and free energy.
Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 850 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.
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