While the governors of Oklahoma and Texas may have given in to TransCanada and Exxon, millions of Americans continue to stand in solidarity against the Keystone XL pipeline and the tarsand oil (laced with benzine and arsenic) which it will bring carry across our state.
According to an article by Paighten Harkins in the OU Daily, the Oklahoma Archeological Survey worked with American Resources Group and Steven W. Carothers and Associates Environmental Consultants to examine the likelihood of the proposed route damaging cultural heritage. Their results showed that there were 88 archelogical sites and 34 historical structures along the Keystone XL’s Oklahoma route, but the government has decided that it is okay to preserve only 17 of the sites and 12 of the structures. The government is willing for the remaining 71 archeological sites and 22 historical structures to be bulldozed. And for what? Just what are we getting in exchange?
The oil that will be produced is already promised to other countries. And the Keystone XL pipeline will actually make the price of gas in Oklahoma go up!
To hundreds of thousands of Native Americans, all Native burial grounds are considered sacred. Under federal law, they are supposed to be protected. But will they be? Would you trust a greedy mogul with your ancestors’ graves?
Obama has opposed the Keystone XL. The Sierra Club opposes it. The Indigenous Environmental Network opposes it. But the moguls and their minions seem determined to bulldoze through our ancestors’ graves, leaving behind a path of arsenic and benzine for our grandchildren to clean up.
This pipeline is specifically designed to carry tarsand oil, the dirtiest oil on the planet. And for what? So some Canadian company can sell oil to other countries.
TransCanada has contracted with Tribes in regards to burial mounds. But what will they do when they come across graves that are not marked? They should stop digging. But why should we trust them to protect our interests when they have lied to us from day one.
TransCanada claimed that this pipeline was going to create tens of thousands of new jobs. A federal government entity has stated that it will create about 2,000 temp jobs. That is for the entire 1,700 mile project. The number of those jobs that Oklahomans will get is probably around 35.
But this is not over til it’s over, and the people are still energized and ready to oppose this injustice. Marty Cobenais of the Indigenous Environmental Network is heading back to DC this week to lobby against the Keystone XL along with a representative from the Caddo Nation.
The Indigenous Environmental Network is also working closely with Ms. Julia Trigg Crawford, the Texas rancher who succeeded in getting a restraining order against TransCanada. It has been established that there are cultural artifacts on her property.
So why did Governor Fallin acquiesce to a foreign mogul? Oklahoma is getting nothing out of this except for pollution from inevitable leaks. The last Keystone pipeline has leaked over a dozen times in about a year. All oil pipelines leak eventually. Does the governor not understand that fact, or does she just not care?
There are thousands of unmarked graves in Oklahoma and Texas, all sacred to somebody. Probably not to TransCanada.
The coalition against the Keystone XL continues to activate its warriors. We are planning an art show – coming soon. And we will continue to support the land owners who do not want to roll over and let a foreign corporation ruin their soil and their water. And we will strive for the day when eminent domain will only be used for legitimate government interests – not for foreign corporations who are just passing through to make a quick buck at our expense.
If you want to join the fight to preserve our graves, our archeological sites and our historical structures for future generations, you can join “Occupy Keystone XL Pipeline Route” at Facebook, or contact this writer at email@example.com.
Note: Cultural heritage is being defined as “any evidence of previous civilizations, such as burial grounds, remains or artifacts”.