Oil

Standing Rock and beyond

 

Earlier this month, a group of protesters calling themselves “water protectors” set up a camp to stop the imminent construction of a controversial pipeline. This was not in North Dakota, however; it was in Texas. The Two Rivers camp, established by activists who were also part of the opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline, or DAPL, aims to stop a similar, 148-mile-long project, the Trans-Pecos.

Without the NoDAPL movement, which was inspired by the Standing Rock Sioux’s desire to protect the tribe’s water and cultural sites, the Two Rivers encampment might never have happened. At the very least, it would have looked much different.

“We’re going to follow the same model as Standing Rock,” Frankie Orona, an organizer at Two Rivers, told the Guardian newspaper. “This is a huge historical moment for environmental issues, for protecting our water, protecting our land, protecting sacred sites and protecting treaties.”

The standoff at Standing Rock may well be the start of something historic. In North Dakota, the world watched as an Indigenous land-and-water movement found common cause with climate activism to confront a fossil-fuel corporation protected by a militarized police force. The administration of President Donald Trump may yet overturn the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to halt the pipeline, pending review of its impact on environmental and cultural resources. But Standing Rock, as Associate Editor Tay Wiles reports in this issue, has nevertheless empowered people in new ways. It likely will prove to be just one of many coming battles, as the stakes of climate change continue to rise, and as Indigenous populations build on the Standing Rock model.

Managing editor Brian Calvert

Even as our country slides further away from democracy and closer to corporate oligarchy, Standing Rock provides heartening evidence that people who stand together still have power. In this issue, we have tried to provide you with a view of not only how a complex array of actors from across the world came together on the High Plains of North Dakota, but how they are taking newfound confidence and commitment back home to address a wide range of environmental and justice issues.

It’s too early to know where all the protests, prayers, divestment campaigns and new alliances will lead us. But we know these things are adding up. Energy Transfer Partners, for example, the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline (and the Trans-Pecos, it turns out) is now having a cash-flow problem. In early January, the company sought a $568 million infusion from its parent company, Energy Transfer Equity, which in turn sought outside investment to make the deal. These peaceful protests, in other words, have at last found a language the oligarchs can understand: profit and loss, cost and benefit. Let more discussions now commence.

High Country News Classifieds
  • NEWS DIRECTOR
    Based in the state capitol, Boise State Public Radio is the premier NPR affiliate in Idaho. With 18 transmitters and translators, it reaches 2/3rds of...
  • INTERNET-BASED BUSINESS FOR SALE
    Dream of owning your own business, being your own boss, working from home ... this is the one.
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FOR MOJAVE DESERT LAND TRUST
    Organization Background: The Mojave Desert Land Trust (MDLT) is a non-profit 501(3)(c) organization, founded in 2006. Our mission is to protect the ecosystems of the...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    If you are deeply committed to public service and would like to become part of our high performing, passionate and diverse team, NCAT is looking...
  • TRIPLEX .8 ACRE KANAB, UT
    Create a base in the center of Southern Utah's Grand Circle of National Parks. Multiple residential property with three established rental units and zoning latitude...
  • FORGE & FAB SHOP
    with home on one beautiful acre in Pocatello, ID. Blackrock Forge - retiring after 43 years! Fully equipped 5,500 sf shop including office, gallery and...
  • SMALL FARM AT THE BASE OF MOUNT SHASTA
    Certified organic fruit/berry/veggie/flower farm. Home, barns, garage, separate apt, more. Just under 2 ac, edge of town. Famously pure air and water. Skiing, mountaineering, bike,...
  • FOREST STEWARDSHIP PROJECT DIRECTOR
    Become a force for nature and a healthy planet by joining the Arizona Chapter as Forest Stewardship Project Director. You will play a key role...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Ranchers Stewardship Alliance is accepting applications for an Executive Director. This position will provide leadership to RSA, develop a fund raising plan, and effectively communicate...
  • WRITING PLACE: THE ANIMAS RIVER REGION WRITING WORKSHOP
    REGISTER ONLINE BY: Friday, June 15 WHERE: Durango, CO (location TBD) WHEN: Monday, July 16 Youth workshop: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. (18 and under,...
  • EQUITY IN THE OUTDOORS COORDINATOR
    The Equity in the Outdoors Coordinator will lead community engagement, program implementation and development, and data collection for the Eagle Valley Outdoor Movement (EVOM). EVOM...
  • COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT ASSISTANT
    The Idaho Conservation League is seeking a personable individual who is passionate about conservation to join our Sandpoint Field Office. The Community Engagement Assistant will...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT FLY ROD CASES
    4 standard or custom lengths. Rugged protection for backpacking. Affordable pricing.
  • EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION INTERN/ASSISTANT
    Actively introduce students to Experiential Education, Outdoor Recreation, and Sustainability while engaging and challenging them to learn and participate in these diverse opportunities. Room, board,...
  • ENVIRONMENTAL INVESTIGATIVE MEDIA SERVICES
    In-depth investigations of polluters, lobbyists, regulators, elected officials and others focused on environmentally damaging projects in the U.S. and internationally. We specialize in mining projects,...
  • UNDEVELOPED 40 ACRES - SOUTHWEST COLORADO
    in beautiful Montezuma County.
  • TRUCK DRIVER
    Class A & B drivers, pass all DOT requirements and clean driving record
  • MARIA'S BOOKSHOP FOR SALE
    - Thriving Indie bookstore in the heart of Durango, Colorado. General bookstore with 34-year history as a community hub for Southwest region of CO. 1800...
  • ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
    HawkWatch International seeks an experienced fundraiser to join our awesome team! This position will provide support in all aspects of the department. We are looking...
  • DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
    will develop and execute Wild Utah Projects fundraising plan. Call, email or check full description of job online for more details: