From Democracy Now: Dakota Access Pipeline Company Attacks Native American Protesters with Dogs & Pepper Spray

“Water is life…I wish they would open their eyes and have a heart.” (Member of the Ocala Sioux Tribe, Pine Ridge Reservation)

In a scenario that is becoming more and more familiar, this video from Democracy Now chronicles yet another confrontation between the interests of private business, government agencies and American Civilians.

Armed with dogs, pepper spray, trucks and bulldozers, purported representatives from the company attacked the protestors, who were mostly women and children.

More information available on the Democracy Now website.

According to Lee Fang  “The Dakota Access Pipeline route brings oil from the Bakken fields to a hub in Illinois, from which it will connect to existing pipelines that lead to the Nederland, Texas, terminal on the Gulf Coast, a facility owned by Sunoco Logistics, a partner to the Dakota Access project, capable of crude oil exports. Energy Transfer Partners’ 10-K, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, notes that low crude oil price are a challenge for the company due to ‘general oversupply,’ but that  ‘export projects’ under construction, including at Nederland, will ‘balance this market by 2018.’ The filing alsolists the Bakken pipeline in a section about positioning the company as a “leader in the export of hydrocarbons.” Earlier this month, Energy Transfer Partners presented at an infrastructure conference sponsored by Citibank, highlighting the Dakota Access Pipeline as a ‘growth project’ under a section about how the company is ‘exceptionally well positioned to capitalize on U.S. energy exports.’ ”

According to the company building the pipeline, Energy Transfer’s site,   “It will transport approximately 470,000 barrels per day with a capacity as high as 570,000 barrels per day or more – which could represent approximately half of Bakken current daily crude oil production. Shippers will be able to access multiple markets, including Midwest and East Coast markets as well as the Gulf Coast via the Nederland, Texas crude oil terminal facility of Sunoco Logistics Partners.  Depending upon regulatory approvals, the pipeline is projected to be in service by the fourth quarter of 2016.”

Continuing, they claim, “Dakota Access has purchased voluntary easement agreements on 100% of the properties along the route in North Dakota. Overall, Dakota Access has executed voluntary easement agreements on more than 99% of the properties across the entire four-state route.”

As we have seen many times in the past, the term “voluntary easement agreement,” or “willing seller,” does not always mean “voluntary.”