The Black Snake Hears a Song: Declaring War on the Keystone Pipeline


le 22/11/2014 à 06:55


After the narrow defeat of the Keystone Pipeline at Congress, Sicangu Lakota Greg Grey Cloud broke into a traditional Lakota song. I am reminded of prophecies of the Black Snake, coming to our territories. Earlier this week, the Sicangu Lakota Tribal council at Rosebud, stated that approval of the Keystone XL pipeline would be a declaration of war upon the Lakota nation. After all, the 1868 treaty between the US and the Lakota protected the region entirely under the gun by the Keystone proposal. Grey Cloud rendered a traditional Lakota song at Congress, and was taken away by security guards, but all across the country, may people were grateful to Congress for defeating the pipeline proposal. I hope Senators Heidi Heidkamp, Hoeven, Franken, and Klobuchar heard the song.

“No Keystone XL Black Snake Pipeline will cross Lakota Lands. We will protect our lands and waters and we have our horses ready…” Brian Brewer, Oglala Sioux Tribe

The hydra of pipeline proposals across North America should give us cause to pause- and say... what are we doing? Spending $l00 billion on oil infrastructure in the face of climate change, and in the face of crumbling American infrastructure shows a hemorrhaging in a North American economy that is at a crossroads. The question is where we will go, and if politicians will buckle to oil interests, and not protect long term American energy security.

Here’s what the Lakota are saying. The tar sands oil is the most environmentally destructive oil on the face of the earth, and the industry retooled their North American energy industry to extract extreme oil- from the tar sands utilizing fracking, rather than buy conventional oil from Venezuela, with the largest oil reserves in the world. That decision is destabilizing North American infrastructure. Spending money on what will be “ stranded assets” of pipelines for no good reason, will destabilize our economy over the long haul as oil spills, climate change, and a lost opportunity to become energy efficient and self-sufficient with renewables and post petroleum choices throws us into a long term economic downward spiral.


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