The Effects of the Dakota Access Pipeline


Mother Jones

Protesters effectively blocked the building of the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline shown above.

John Cabrera II, Reporter

The protesters at the Standing Rock reservation in South Dakota let out a sigh of relief when the Army Corps of Engineers decided to look for alternative routes for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The victory at Standing Rock was a pivotal moment in the fight against oil pipelines. The pipeline was created to deliver oil from to the Bakken oil fields to Illinois.

The protesters are still uncertain of what is coming in the future because the Army Corps’ decision to reroute the pipeline from Lake Oahe can be overturned by the incoming Donald Trump administration.

English teacher Lisa Marshall commented, “It’s hard to tell what [Trump] is gonna do about anything. It’s hard to know how interventionist or not he’s going to be. He seems, in many cases, so impulsive about his decisions.”

Many were against building the pipeline in the first place. Some opposers of the DAPL believe that making the pipeline can make Americans hungry for more exhaustible resources, such as oil. Using up all of the Earth’s resources now will impact future generations. Junior Justin Hang said, “we gotta take care of this planet because later on in the future… we could be fighting for resources.”

One concern of building the DAPL on an alternative route is that the pipeline could still leak, which would result in more environmental problems.  

Sophomore Dennis Litvak added, “[The Army Corps of Engineers] should at least put in new safety measures to make the pipeline safer and to stop it from leaking”

Being concerned with the decreasing availability of nonrenewable energy is very important.

Hang quoted a Native American proverb saying, “When the last tree has been cut down, when all the air has been polluted and the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.”