Rosebud Sioux Set Up Camp To Stop Pipeline

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A new front in the battle against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline is opening up for tribes and others in South Dakota in a rural area near Mission.

A group sanctioned by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe is setting up a prayer camp near Mission to keep up pressure against the pipeline. The camp will be located off of U.S. Highway 183 near the town of Ideal.

Aldo Seoane, project coordinator for the Shielding the People Project, said the tribe has concerns about trouble from pipeline workers and the tribe’s sovereign rights being violated by the project. “Rosebud wasn’t consulted in the process of getting the pipeline put through,” said Seoane. Seoane said part of where the pipeline’s path cuts through an area that contains historical and cultural tribal artifacts.

While TransCanada says that the Keystone XL pipeline doesn’t cross any reservation or tribal trust lands, the pipeline would cross through the original reservation territory granted in the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie, which included all of South Dakota west of the Missouri River.

At a proposed 1,179 miles, the $7 billion pipeline would ferry oil through Montana and South Dakota to a hub in Nebraska. Existing pipelines there would move the oil to refineries on the Texas gulf coast. Pipeline supporters say it will create thousands of jobs and move the U.S. toward energy independence.

Opponents say it would encourage global warming by carrying “dirty oil” from Canada. The State Department report says oil derived from tar sands in Alberta generates about 17 percent more greenhouse gas emissions than traditional crude. The report also notes that other methods of transporting the oil — including rail, trucks and barges — would release more greenhouse gasses than the pipeline.

The camp is set up as part of a build-up to an appearance by opposition groups in Washington, D.C., at the end of April. But it could stay up longer. Seoane said it will be active until President Barack Obama “says no on the pipeline.” Vic Camp, head of Owe Aku, a traditional Lakota advocacy organization, urged listeners in his Thursday radio show on KILI to help the spiritual camp. “We say no to all mining and drilling for oil and any other mineral right now that can contaminate the water,” Camp told his listeners.

VIDEO: PROTEST IN THE PLAINS: We Will Die For Our Grandchildren.