Socialist group joins tribes in effort to halt Keystone XL

Before and after pipeline construction

Photo illustrates the before and after aspects of pipeline construction. (Keystone XL/TransCanada website)

Despite another report, this one from the U.S. State Dept., asserting that the Keystone XL pipeline project is “safe for the environment,” some Indian tribes in the U.S. and Canada have a new ally in trying to halt the project.

The website Socialist Worker featured a story on Tuesday with an activist vow to stop the pipeline:

“Their horses are ready. So are ours. We stand with the Lakota Nation, we stand on the side of protecting sacred water, we stand for Indigenous land-based lifeways, which will NOT be corrupted by a hazardous, toxic pipeline. WE ALL NEED TO STAND WITH THEM.”

SW acknowledged the KXL dispute relates to treaty boundaries, not reservations:

“KXL will NOT cross their treaty territory, which extends past the reservation boundaries.”

The position taken by the socialists and the tribes appears inflexible. When former Assembly of First Nations chief Phil Fontaine attempted to speak on behalf of the project at the University of Winnipeg, “First Nations” protesters drummed him into silence and accused him of being a sellout.

Winnipeg Free Press said:

“Fontaine’s new job is to be a go-between for TransCanada Corp. and the 180 aboriginal communities located along the Energy East Pipeline’s 4,500-kilometre path, many of which have expressed concern for wetlands and wildlife welfare. TransCanada’s website ( states the proposed project would see a new pipeline built in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Eastern Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick to carry 1.1 million barrels of crude oil per day. The Keystone XL Pipeline is a proposed 1,897-kilometre crude oil pipeline from Hardisty, Alta., to Steele City, Neb.”

APTN National News [Aboriginal Peoples Television Network; Winnipeg] said in a statement on the network’s website:

“Members from the seven tribes of the Lakota Nation, along with tribal members and tribes in Idaho, Oklahoma, Montana, Nebraska and Oregon, have been preparing to stop construction of the 1,400 kilometre pipeline which is slated to run, on the U.S. side, from Morgan, Mon., to Steel City, Neb., and pump 830,000 barrels per day from Alberta’s tar sands. The pipeline would originate in Hardisty, Alta.”

Thus far, the administration of President Barack Obama has technically aligned with the socialist and tribal groups obstructing the pipeline, and despite the new report, numerous bureaucratic hurdles remain:

“The project will now go into a final phase which focuses on whether Keystone XL “serves the national interest.” Pipeline’s environmental, cultural and economic impacts will be weighed in this phase and at least eight agencies will have input on the outcome, including the Department Defense, Justice, Interior, Commerce, Transportation, Energy, Homeland Security and the Environmental Protection Agency…A 30-day public comment period will also be initiated on Feb. 5.”

Sage Program, a globalism-focused organization aimed at students who want to study other cultures or volunteer on culture-related projects, provided shocking statistics on the Lakota Nation:

·        Population is approximately 30,000.

·        Literacy rate is 50-75 percent.

·        Living below the poverty line: 49 percent.

·        Unemployment rate: 80 percent.

·        Life expectancy: 47 years.

·        Adolescent suicide rate: 4x the US national average.

The group touted the Lakotas’ low carbon emissions at less than 0.1 percent.

TransCanada said the company has one of the best safety records in the industry. Americans appreciate the difference between a pipeline that is land-based and the transport of fuels by sea. TC said:

“There are more than 2.6 million miles of oil and natural gas pipelines in the United States that deliver 99.9998 per cent of their products safely and reliably every day. The State Department’s own environmental impact statement found that Keystone XL would operate with a degree of safety greater than any other pipeline in the U.S.”

No mention of the high unemployment or poverty rates was included in statements from the socialist publication or in news releases issued by activist groups.

SW relayed a declaration from the anti-Keystone XL groups:

“In recognition of our responsibilities to protect Mother Earth, Native peoples will not allow this pipeline to come across our treaty areas. We will defend our lives, and our mother Earth, and we need Barack Obama to do the same.”

KXL pointed out that a “New independent report and prominent climate scientists agree: Keystone XL meets President Obama’s climate standard.”

Apparently the socialist and tribal groups opposed to the pipeline discount the plight of the human species in their concerns about “Mother Earth.”

(Analysis by Kay B. Day/Feb. 4, 2014)

About Kay Day

Kay B. Day is a freelance writer who has published in national and international magazines and websites. The author of 3 books, her work is anthologized in textbooks and collections. She has won awards for poetry, nonfiction and fiction. Day is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Authors Guild.
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