I Think We’re Finally Turning the Corner in the Fight for a Sustainable Future

August 31, 2016, John Hanno


I think we’re finally turning the corner in the fight for a sustainable future for mankind and against this mad rush to blanket America with ticking time bomb oil pipelines and to drill, frack and extract every ounce of fossil fuel, before American’s and our legislatures and courts come to their senses. This stand by the Native Tribe’s affiliated with the Sacred Stone Camp has struck a nerve with America’s environmental and progressive communities. We’re collectively appalled by this latest attack on American’s who have been dumped on for hundreds of years. We say enough is enough. Unlike fossil fuel proponents and political panderers, these Native Americans have a sacred and spiritual connection to their land and water.

There’s no shortage of examples of the environmental damage done by oil drilling, fracking and pipeline operations throughout America. Fossil Fuel interests have contaminated private and public water wells, lakes and rivers used for drinking water and underground water aquifers, in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, California, Michigan, North Dakota and anywhere the Army Corps and mostly Republican legislatures and state agencies have given carte blanche approval to these companies.

Great swaths of Canada, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and others are under siege from Canadian Company Enbridge’s pipeline network expansion. American’s can stop Keystone clone Dakota Access and shut down Line 3 and it’s replacement if we stand up in unprecedented numbers. We must oppose and delay these interests until renewable energy can prevail. It won’t be easy. As soon as the Army Corps approves these pipelines, they’re rubber stamped by controlling State agencies. Then as soon as these pipeline companies are granted eminent domain authority, they try to intimidate landowners. And that authority ties the hands of state courts. The only issue these state courts then rule on is the compensation to the landowners. And its seldom in the landowners favor.

I fought Enbridge when they wanted to take part of my organic farm for pipeline 78. I told them I didn’t want their dirty tar sand pipeline anywhere near my organic farm. The easement they wanted me to sign, granted them the ability to “abandon in place” when they’re finished with the pipeline. When I refused, they filed an eminent domain action against us. We lost in state court but our case was appealed. These illegal eminent domain actions must finally be addressed by a superior court. You can read our story at gofundme.com/2xpggwfw.

We believe that private foreign companies like Enbridge, (who just announced plans to acquire a portion of the Dakota Access) taking American’s property for private gain by eminent domain violates the 5th Amendment (takings clause) to the U.S. Constitution and also State Constitutions. It also violates Native American Treaties and Sovereignty.

The lawsuit by DAPO against a sovereign nation tribe is just the latest attempt at intimidation. More than 100,000 protestors, Native tribes, farmers, landowners and activists from Bold Nebraska, the Sierra Club, IL Climate Activists and others, inspired President Obama to decide against approving Keystone XL. That case was headed to the Nebraska Sup Court.

What will it take to wake America up, a catastrophic spill on the magnitude of a ruptured 65 year old Pipeline 5 under the straights of Mackinac, which could contaminate at least 2 Great Lakes and at least 700 miles of shoreline in both Canada and the U.S.? Would that finally be enough?

After America finally gives up its addiction to fossil fuels and fully embraces alternative energy, who’s going to dig up all these 200,000 miles of old decaying oil pipelines, some full of toxic tar sands and chemicals? I believe that 10,15 or 20 years from now, these oil and pipeline companies will be the new coal companies, failing and headed into bankruptcy. Are the oil and pipeline companies like Enbridge going to “abandon them in place”; just leave them in the ground until they rust away and leak whatever is left in the pipes into the nations aquifers and contaminate our drinking water and wells? We know the cleanup will be foisted onto the land owners and taxpayers.

But we can’t rely on our governments and courts to save America’s water. I’m afraid there’s not much hope the pending September 9th court ruling on DAPL will stop that pipeline, unless the utility agencies sidestepped environmental law. And the court action blocking eminent domain actions against Iowa landowners is only a temporary obstacle for DAPO. I believe the only hope of stopping this insanity lies with President Obama and an executive order. Common Sense American’s must stand up in such numbers that the President can’t ignore his duty to protect our environment. We can live without oil, but as we’ve seen in the drought regions out west, we cannot live without water.

Stand up any way you can. Support Bold Nebraska, IL Climate Activists, 350 Kiswaukee, MN350, The Sierra Club, Action Network.org, Bold Iowa, the Sacred Stone Camp gofundme campaign and anyone else who believes in environmental common sense. I believe our Native American brothers and sisters may just stop this pipeline.

Hau we are the Inyan wakankagapi otip-Sacred Stone Camp from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.   We have partnership with the Oectc  Sakowin- Seven Council Fires,…

Author: John Hanno

Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. Bogan High School. Worked in Alaska after the earthquake. Joined U.S. Army at 17. Sergeant, B Battery, 3rd Battalion, 84th Artillery, 7th Army. Member of 12 different unions, including 4 different locals of the I.B.E.W. Worked for fortune 50, 100 and 200 companies as an industrial electrician, electrical/electronic technician.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *