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The proposed pipeline from Alberta, Canada to Nebraska approved by a majority of the House of Representatives on Friday runs right through the Rosebud Sioux tribal lands and is expected to carry 830,000 barrels of crude oil from Canada to Nebraska. 'We’re going to protect our land and our way of life,' Rosebud Sioux Tribal President Cyril Scott told the Daily News.
BY Nicole Hensley NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Published: Sunday, November 16, 2014, 5:50 PM Updated: Sunday, November 16, 2014, 9:15 PM
The House of Representatives committed an “act of war” against Native Americans when it approved the controversial Keystone pipeline last week, a Sioux tribal leader said.

The GOP-led House voted on Friday to approve the Alberta-to-Nebraska pipeline — but Cyril Scott, president of the Rosebud Sioux tribe in South Dakota vowed to block it.

Scott has threatened to close Rosebud's borders if any attempt to build the pipeline is made.

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“Act of war means that we’re going to have to take legal maneuvers now,” Scott told the Daily News over the phone. “We’re going to protect our land and our way of life.”

The pipeline is not a done deal, but the Republican majority in the House had a staggering lead of 252-161 votes for TransCanada’s 875-mile pipeline through the United States.

The international pipeline would funnel tar sands oil through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska - right through the Rosebud tribal lands.

Scott argued the pipeline violates the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie that gave the land known as the Black Hills to the Sioux Nation.

“When it comes to treaties, they forget about us. ... People forget that we’re a sovereign nation,” Scott said. “Everybody else ... they’re just guests here.”


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Republicans tout the pipeline as a boon for jobs in construction, refinement and distribution. It could also reduce the country’s dependency on foreign oil from the Middle East with 830,000 barrels of crude oil pumping through the 36-inch pipe each day.

Opponents of the pipeline, some Democrats and environmentalists, believe it will lengthen the world’s addiction to fossil fuel and hasten climate change.


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The pipeline has also been defended by the State Department in a report released in January that stated it would not greatly increase carbon emissions or affect the Ogallala Aquifer that provides water to the majority of the Great Plains.

But leaks could happen, the department admitted.

“It’s not if it breaks, it’s when it breaks,” Scott added.

The Senate will vote on the proposed bill sponored by Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La. this week, but it’s not clear if President Barack Obama will let the legislation pass after putting it off for the past six years.

The bill was supported by 31 Democrats.


With News Wire Services.


 


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