Neil Godbole ’17

It is a $3.7 billion dollar project that stretches across four different American states, with a total length of 1,172 miles. It could potentially shuttle in 470,000 barrels of crude oil a day, or roughly 374.3 million gallons of gasoline. All in one day. It would make the entire nation more self-sufficient and less reliant on foreign oil markets, most of which come from an increasingly unstable Middle East. It has been approved by the US Army Corps of Engineers and it seems like it will bring undeniable positive benefits to this nation.  There is, however, quite a different stance on the project.

All of you have no doubt heard of the many protests, petitions, and actions being taken to try and desperately stop the pipeline from finishing construction. Many of these complaints come from the fact the pipeline is to be constructed through Native American Sioux Tribe lands. They claim that the pipeline could significantly alter their way of life by destroying their burial and prayer sites, as well as artifacts culturally significant to the tribe. There are environmental concerns against the pipeline as well, in that many are worried about an eventual increase in greenhouse gas emissions, as well as make this nation more dependent on oil and halt the search for renewable energy sources. Also, as the pipeline does run under the Mississippi River, many are worried of a possible rupture within the pipeline. This could lead to a disaster and contamination of the precious body of water. On the other side ,however, the pipeline developer claims that the pipeline is actually making oil transportation safer. They claim the pipeline itself is a more economically friendly transportation method than trains or trucks, which could potentially derail or crash.

This topic has been extremely controversial and divisive for Americans (like so many things these days), and many famous celebrities and prominent citizens have taken the time to voice their opinions on the matter. What is important is to inform yourself of the facts and of the situation, and then come to an honest opinion all on your own.