The untouched vistas of the Northern Great Plains are a national treasure and are sacred to American Indians. But more than memories of home on the range are encouraging activists to block the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The resistance is part of a relentless environmentalist campaign to shut down critical upgrades of the nation’s energy infrastructure. Weighing the interests of the few against the needs of the many, there is only one clear conclusion: The pipeline must go through.
The $3.7 billion pipeline, stretching 1,134 miles from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota southeast to Illinois, has triggered protests by members of the Standing Rock Sioux who say that the pipeline would deface ancestral artifacts and threaten vital sources of water. Sioux spines have been stiffened by the same sort of “keep it in the ground” arguments that anti-growth activists used to persuade President Obama to kill the Keystone XL pipeline two years ago. The spray-painting of anti-pipeline graffiti on the North Dakota pillar at the National World War II Memorial in Washington links radical environmentalism with angry anti-Americanism. It’s the unmistakable calling card of the destructive left.