It seems as if the Dakota states are inclined to environmental issues. Earlier this year, there was an outcry in North Dakota over the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Protesters were concerned about the hazard it could pose to water near the Standing Rock Sioux population.
When interviewed by JSR, sophomore Jennie Kim from Immaculate Heart High School stated, “There is an increasingly important focus on the environment as society becomes more aware of its pollution. The protests for DAPL are a testament to this realization, yet environment problems still persist as pipelines are never 100% safe.”
As if that incident wasn’t enough, now South Dakota has an environmental concern of its own: the Keystone Pipeline XL. The Keystone Pipeline XL is a long pipeline that travels down from Canada into the US and currently brings in oil to midwest. According to CNN, proponents of this pipeline argues that the pipeline brings in oil so that the US can decrease its dependence on foreign oil across the globe. In addition, proponents have pointed out that the building of the pipeline would increase jobs.
As reported by CNN, a recent concern about the pipeline is that it has leaked around 210,000 gallons of oil. This leak is one of the arguments that have been made against this pipeline. Not only is there a potential for a leak to occur and damage the environment, but the job benefit that is perceived may actually only be a miniscule: after the building has been completed, not many are required to maintain the pipeline after construction.
With the spill of oil from a leak in the pipeline system, environmental concerns to the Keystone Pipeline are similar to the concerns raised during the DAPL construction. CNN has reported that there is a concern as to whether the groundwater under the leak has been contaminated, similar to concerns over water contamination in the DAPL protests.
At this stage, nothing is clear as to the effects of the spill, but one thing is clear: America needs to pay extra attention to the environment, as instances such as this oil spill are one of many that occur. Under the Obama administration, President Obama opposed the pipeline due to environmental concerns. However, with the start of the Trump administration, the EPA has been ambiguous as to its standing on pollution. Therefore, the country must be vigilant on environmental issues as the results of oil spills and pollution continue to be debated and discussed.