Keystone XL

strong_hearts.jpegThe Keystone XL Pipeline is proposed to carry tar sands oil from the lands of our Cree and Dene relatives all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Eighty percent of the traditional territory of the Mikisew Cree and Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations has been made inaccessible for most of the year, and traditional lifeways can no longer be practiced on the land. Water is polluted and game is inedible. There are more treaty violations that we can count. Musician Neil Young compares the atomic bomb devastation of Hiroshima, Japan to the least devastated areas of tar sans operations.

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline would transport 880,000 barrels of raw, toxic tar sands oil right across the Oglala Aquifer and Lakota territory, and down through the American heartland — from Alberta, Canada to refineries in Texas per day. Many of these refineries are in Foreign Trade Zones where oil may be exported to international buyers without paying U.S. taxes. This pipeline carries diluted bitumen oil that is 16 times more likely to spill than regular crude oil. A Cornell University study concludes the pipeline reduce investment in the clean energy economy – killing more jobs than it would create.

kxl.jpgThis pipeline has been fiercely opposed by Indigenous organizers in the tar sands, and along the pipeline route in Lakota country since it was first proposed. Debra White Plume of Owe Aku was the first Indigenous woman amongst thousands to be arrested in front of the White House in August 2011 opposing the Pipeline. There were many allies organized by 350.org and the Sierra Club, among others, to this fight, as it will contribute enormously to global warming, it will be “game over” for the climate says renown climatologist James Hansen. The Indigenous Tar Sands campaigners were the only group to have met with President Obama on the issue, and have worked tirelessly to sustain the momentum and generate greater awareness in communities at both ends of the pipeline. 

debra.jpegIn 2013, we rode three pipelines on horse. We have a long history of these sacred rides, and they are a part of our way of bringing the horse nation into our honoring of Mother Earth. That was people from our community, joined with people from many other communities. We rode the proposed routes of the Keystone XL in support of Owe Aku and the Horse Spirit Society, the Sandpiper and the present Alberta Clipper. The YouTube video of our ride has been widely shown and is a source of inspiration for many people. The project was funded in part by 350.org and the US Climate Action Network. We will continue to support these spiritual rides for outreach and education in the upcoming year, and to aggregate resources to support Indigenous organizers like Owe Aku, who continue to organize Moccasins on the Ground non violent action trainings in Lakota country. We are ready to defend our lands. We will ride again.

NEWS UPDATE: Honor the Earth and the Indigo Girls at Resist and Reject in Washington DC

The Facts:

  • According to the U.S. State Department the pipeline would create at most 6,500 temporary construction jobs, and would leave only "hundreds" of permanent jobs, according to TransCanada, the Canadian company that wants to build the pipeline. Claims that the pipeline would employ tens or even hundreds of thousands of people are simply not true.
  • Producing synthetic crude oil from tar sands generates three times the global warming pollution of conventional crude production.
  • There have already been 804 Enbridge spills. Tar sands oil is 15-20 times more acidic than conventional oil and up to 7 times as viscous (thicker). Tar sands oil is 16 times more likely to breach a pipeline than regular crude oil.
  • Tar sands oil uses 3.1 barrels of fresh water for every barrel of oil produced, and has created the largest lake of toxic water in the world.  Since water is very endangered this is a significant problem.
  • Canada’s National Energy Board has stated that Enbridge is not complying with safety standards at 117 of its pumping stations and is analyzing the concerns and solutions. In their recent letter to Enbridge they requested compliance. 
  • Much of the justification for pipelines that source their oil from Canada is to end dependence on oil from politically unstable countries – specifically the Middle East and Venezuela. In fact, the Koch Brothers own the refineries that would process this oil, and  are the second largest privately owned company in the United States. This “certificate of need” is indeed based on a political strategy, and not on economic or geographic fact.
  • See more facts by clicking here.

Where we stand - hear the testimony of Debra White Plume from the Lakota Homeland of Owe Aku about treaties, tarsands, international law,  genocide and protection of Sacred Water and Mother Earth  at the October 7, 2011 Public Hearing on the 1600 mile TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline before the US State Department in Washingoton, D.C.

What you can do:

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The Latest News:

No Black Snake Keystone XL Will Cross Lakota Homelands

 

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