It's Columbus Day, So We May as Well Kill Some More Indians:
So by now, you probably haven't heard much about the Keystone XL pipeline because no one on the TV is squawking loudly because it's not as glamorously conspiratorially evil-sounding as Solyndra. Also, because most politicians of both parties love that filthy oil lucre. Really quickly: Keystone XL would be the next really long pipeline, taking delicious crude from the wild tar sand fields of Alberta, Canada down to the Gulf of Mexico in Texas. Because it crosses a border, the State Department has to approve it. Environmentalists oppose it because the company, TransCanada, is not, as one might expect a Toronto tranny bar but is, in fact, a really huge energy corporation and, as such, it has polluted the shit out of the environment. In fact, a previous pipeline sucked so badly that the U.S. shut it down because it leaked a dozen times in a year.
What does this have to do with Indians? Well, see, the Keystone XL pipeline would go through the tribal lands of many different indigenous people in the United States and Canada, possibly polluting water sources that, you know, keep them alive. As a resolution by the National Council of American Indians put it, the proposed pipeline "crosses through Indian country in northern Alberta, Saskatchewan, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska, near and potentially over, many culturally significant areas for Tribal Nations within those provinces and states;" and, based on the record of Keystone and other pipelines, "it is probable that further environmental disasters will occur in Indian country if the new pipeline is allowed to be constructed."
For instance, the proposed route of the pipeline would take it right across the Oglala Sioux Rural Water Supply System in South Dakota, among others. And according to treaties with the U.S. government, the tribes are supposed to have approval of such things. As the United Tribes of North Dakota said, "The U. S. Department of State did not properly consult with the Tribes along the route of the Keystone Excel Pipeline and, as a result of the mechanisms used for what consultation was provided, the affected Tribal Nations were not provided the opportunity for 'free and informed consent; regarding the construction of the pipeline." They don't want it (and some have been arrested protesting it). So, in other words, if the Obama administration, which just finished holding hearings on the pipeline (which included an environmental impact statement done by a TransCanada contractor), approves the pipeline, it will violate treaties with Indian tribes and endanger the health of Native Americans. It's comforting to know that some things in America never change.
Of course, it's oil we're talking about, and no one can stop it, even if it's the filthiest, most environment-degrading kind of oil. All review is done now. It's up to Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, and President Obama. And how do you think that's gonna go?