Public comment period on KXL pipeline to end on Earth Day

Have you seen the pictures on the internet of the tar sands oil spill in Mayflower, Arkansas? They are absolutely horrific and a preview of what is to come if the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline is built. I found a very interesting story on the Arkansas oil spill. You can read the entire story online at the link included with the following excerpt:

 “Within a week of the ExxonMobil tar sands oil pipeline burst in Mayflower, Arkansas, ExxonMobil was in charge of the clean-up, the U.S. government had established a no-fly zone over the area, some 40 residents were starting their second week of evacuation, ExxonMobil was threatening to arrest reporters trying to cover the spill, and several homeowners had filed a class action lawsuit seeking damages from the world’s second-most-profitable corporation, which had helped keep the pipeline secret from terrorists.”  

The article also read in part: “And it smelled! The smell carried for miles. Up close, prolonged exposure was potentially unhealthy, for lung, brain, peace of mind. Environmental responders monitored the air quality for days, but only some of the clean-up workers wore breathing masks. The pipeline gushed for almost an hour before ExxonMobil had it shut down.”

I am totally against oil development. I am also opposed to any other development which is even remotely connected to oil extraction from Mother Earth. And when the development in question has nothing to do with digging into the ground to tap oil reserves or to place dangerous pipes I still have to oppose it; meaning I won’t even support the building of living quarters to rent to roughneck workers.

It’s all about principle and personal integrity. There are many people who serve only the almighty dollar and so when it comes to the profit margin they may not understand what it means to have principle or personal integrity. They are accustomed to compromising their personal integrity without flinching. Still, once we become complacent about the types of activities happening to support the people who are actually doing the oil development then we might as well be there digging the trench to lay the pipe ourselves.

When their first application for a Presidential Permit to construct KXL was denied, TransCanada Corporation submitted an application for a second permit on May 5, 2012 for a “proposed pipeline that would run from the Canadian border to connect to an existing pipeline in Steele City, Nebraska.”

On March 1, 2013 a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) was released for public comment. The 45 day comment period is nearing completion. Consequently, a Public Meeting will be conducted by the State Department on April 18, 2013 at the Heartland Events Center, 700 East Stolley Park Road in Grand Island, Nebraska to hear comments and views on the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.

This meeting is scheduled to begin at 12pm (noon) and continue through 8pm. Registration begins at 11am. If you want to voice your concern you must show up early and sign up to speak. You can be sure that TransCanada will be bussing in roughnecks by the dozens from all over the country to advocate for the Presidential Permit to be approved!

This is what happened in Pierre, South Dakota when the State Department held a hearing there in 2011. Several charter buses arrived at the Best Western Ramkota chock-full of roughnecks. Many people stood in line to sign up to speak in front of the State Department officials. The grassroots people who traveled to Pierre in September 2011 to speak up for Mother Earth were laughed at by the roughnecks. I witnessed those brash roughnecks eat up the allotted time by advocating for the construction of KXL. Incidents like this might give an impression that the majority of the local people are in favor of the project, even when they are not.  

There are local people banding together to stand up against the construction of KXL. This project is not in our or our children’s best interest. Indians, ranchers and land owners are standing side by side in protest to this potential threat to our sacred areas and our water of life. We stand together as human beings who would rather have clean drinking water for our children more than we want the almighty dollar.

Like many of my Lakota-Dakota-Nakota relatives, I am deeply concerned about the world our grandchildren and unborn descendants will be left with when we are gone. Like the ancestors who have gone before us, many of us pray for the descendants who will soon stand in our place. And at the rate we are pillaging Mother Earth there will be nothing left. How will our great grandchildren feel when they learn they have inherited a dead planet? The inhabitants of North America cannot afford additional oil pipeline construction. Further oil development will surely destroy us.

Also, there are many unmarked graves all over Turtle Island. The bones of our relatives rest everywhere. Some have fossilized into stone. Who has the right to physically disturb ancient graves just so there will be a few more gallons of gas or oil?

As a child of Mother Earth, I am against the proposed KXL crossing our land and water sources. I ask you all to pray for our water of life to remain pure for our descendants. I would also ask that you go and speak out against the approval of a Presidential Permit in regard to the construction of KXL at the hearing next week. 

If you cannot attend the public meeting in Grand Island, Nebraska on April 18, you can still submit a written opinion regarding KXL or the SEIS. Written comments are being accepted through April 22, 2013, which happens to be the nationally celebrated Earth Day. Comments can be emailed to Written comments can also be mailed to: U.S. Department of State, Attn: Genevieve Walker, NEPA Coordinator, 2201 C Street NW, Room 2726, Washington, D.C. 20520.



Published by Vi Waln


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