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Dakota Access Protest. Photo: Fibonacci Blue via Fickr.

What exactly is driving the Dakota Access protests?

Here in the Bakken, most people have at least some idea of what’s going on with the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock reservation, and most of those people have at least some opinion about whether or not the pipeline project should be finished.

But the protests have now spread to news outlets across the nation, and even across the globe. Some say the media is “sensationalizing” the protests, and say protesters are more interested in media attention than protecting the water. Others say those in charge of building and approving the pipeline, such as Energy Transfer Partners and the Public Service Commission, have no interest in protecting the interests of local indigenous people. Who is right?

ABC News wrote this article today that gives an overview: Dakota Access Pipeline: What’s Behind the Protests?

According to Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II, an oil spill would permanently contaminate the Missouri River, a major water source for his reservation and for millions living in cities downstream. He has called for re-rerouting the pipeline.

The other side:

Energy Transfer Partners and supporters of the project say pipelines have safeguards against leaks and are a far safer option than transporting oil on trucks and trains.

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