Big Oil Throws Gauntlet; Wants to Frack Sioux Lands
Big Oil throws gauntlet; wants to Frack Sioux Nation
Oil and Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking) are coming to Sitting Bull’s homelands it would seem as the “Wicks Brothers” (claiming Sioux ancestry according to local talk) have published their claim and intent to do exploratory drilling in Sioux and Corson counties (all of Standing Rock Rez) in hopes they (Big Oil) can one day Frack it. The notice was published by the TetonTimes Wednesday, July 30, 2014; it is included below (Along with the Standing Rock Nation’s policy statement on Fracking) and it states, in relevant part, that Big Oil has secured lease interests in approximatley 200,000 acres in and around the Standing Rock Nation. Fracking, in summary, is the process of injecting poisonous chemicals through layers of rock in the earth’s subsurface to loosen oil reserves and then pump that oil up to the surface. A few people at the top make a lot of money: millions, sometimes billions. The Indians are greased with chump change (as well as North Dakota legislators) and big oil takes over their lands and councils/legislators. The Indians are greased again with chump change as the states keep a majority of the taxes collected on the lands under Tribal jurisdiction. Man camps (mobile settlements housing 100s of drifting outside workers) are set up and hundreds of thousands of dollars of disposable income hits the scene bringing drugs, crime, prostitution and sexually driven abductions, attempted abductions, missing persons and a host of other negative impacts; Industrial 18-wheeler truck traffic takes over your roads (destroying them, causing traffic fatalities and leaving the tribe to deal with it); everyone is put at risk; people die, but die they must as necessary casualties of this machine. This machine is big oil and it is not anything to take lightly. They are coming to destroy our lands, lethally poison our surface and ground waters and destroy the tranquility and purity of our homelands. If we should lay down and take this, what happens when they leave? Who unpoisons the water? Who will stop the inevitable oil-spills like the 1million gallon spill that Mandan Hidatsa and Arikara Nations are claiming was harmless because “beaver dams were able to contain it.” Who will give our children water to drink when they are crying for it? Who should revive the coyotes, the deer as they lay dying, the buffalo, the meadowlark and all life loved by the water? Who will speak for them? Who has lost their way? Who is seeking the way? Who makes the land sacred again after it has been desecrated? Their system is a disease; it is not natural and it is out of balance. Extraction, fiat currency and debt are pure lies; there is no wealth or true life in them. They are coming to destroy our homelands and by extension destroy us. Original peoples, North Dakotans and open-minded Americans who have learned to appreciate the land know full well that fracking has no place here. We must show the world a better way. We are always ready. We need a new spiritual economy now. -LRI
Big Oil’s announcement in the Teton Times (Standing Rock Newspaper):
OIL & GAS LEASES FILED IN SIOUX AND CORSON COUNTIES NORTH & SOUTH DAKOTA FORT YATES — Leases for oil & gas explorations have been filed in the counties of Sioux and Corson along the border of North and South Dakota. Osceola Operating, Inc. has announced. Osceola Operating, Inc. plans for future oil & gas exploration in the “Three Forks,” “Lodgepole,” and “Red River” formations. The leases were obtained from a coalition of land owners with over 200,000 acres of mineral acres in the counties of Grant, Morton, Sioux, Corson, and Perkins in North and South Dakota. Coalition members have contracted with an oil & gas management company that represents their mineral interests. The company negotiates with members of the oil and gas industry, then prepares land owners for oil and gas leasing by providing research services. For more information regarding Osceola Operating Inc. contact Harold McAden Esq. (940)-683-0227. More information about the coalition/mineral rights research services for land owners can be obtained by contacting Joe Wicks (605)-314-3041.
Standing Rock Nation’s Policy Statement on Oil and Fracking:
While the oil and gas industries provide significant opportunities for developing economies, they also bring substantial risks that need to be managed and mitigated by governments (Tribal, State, and Federal), and their communities. The limited nature of oil and gas resources make it particularly important that governments’ policies and codes ensure that the benefits of their production contribute to the development of the human, social, and physical capital needed for sustainable development. Unfortunately, in certain cases, neither investment nor oil revenues have been able to guarantee safety among our water, lands, cultural, tribal resources, economic growth or poverty reduction within our neighboring reservations. Thus, the presence of major oil and gas industries has been associated with a variety of negative social and environmental outcomes. The so-called “Paradox of Plenty,” where resource development fails to generate the sustainable benefits expected, is one of the most urgent challenges. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Council on February 1, 2011 passed a motion to prohibit hydro fracturing on the Standing Rock Sioux Nation. All leases for oil and minerals on trust lands for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe are handled within BIA, in working with Division of Energy and Mineral Development.
Here are some of our tribal program codes that deal with oil and gas. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Department of Environmental Regulations/EPA currently regulates two Tribal Codes; Title XXVI-Solid and Hazardous Waste Code and Title XXIX-Environmental Quality Code. Our permitting program currently addresses a 1% Fee and Permit issuance for all Construction and Demolition Projects on Standing Rock. The changes to Title XXVI will be implemented once posted and approved by Tribal Council. These changes will include the expansion of the permitting program regulated by our Department to include transfer and hauling of solid and hazardous waste. The list of prohibited activities include the regulation of handling materials often associated with special wastes from Oil and Gas production and dumping in the waters of Standing Rock. Establishment of regulations and permit programs will help the Tribe to protect our resources from future development and its potential to cause harm to the environment. We are here to protect the land, waters, and the health of our residents and the environment for now and future generations to enjoy on Standing Rock. The National Historic Preservation Act, 16 U.S.C. 470, was enacted in 1966 and amended in 1992. Under the 1992 amendments, Section 101 (d) (2) of the Act was created to allow federally recognized Tribes to assume certain responsibilities away from their respective State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPO). Standing Rock Tribal Historic Preservation is a regulatory office and was officially designated as a THPO on August 14, 1996 by the Department of Interior, National Park Service, Washington, D.C. It was officially established in the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Cultural Resource Code under Title XXXII Section 202 of the Code of Justice. The THPO allows the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to re-affirm authority and jurisdiction within the boundaries of the reservation. This NHPA definition of “Tribal Lands” applies to “all lands within the exterior boundaries of any Indian reservation” regardless of land ownership. This means whether or not it is fee, state, private, church or county lands, the tribe through the THPO retains this authority. The THPO office works in coordination with other Standing Rock Sioux Tribal departments and programs to ensure the preservation and protection of cultural and physical artifacts and resources directly associated with the people of Standing Rock. THPO has an established working relationship with the North and South Dakota State Historic Preservation Offices. This office is charged with identification and protection of historic properties and burial sites. THPO provides the tribe with a voice for their cultural, sacred, burial sites within the boundaries of the reservation. In addition, THPO was created recognizing the exterior boundaries of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851 and 1868. This responsibility was reinforced in our recognized aboriginal homelands as referenced in the Indian Claims Commission adjudicated 1978 Court of Claims Map.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Water Code (Code of Justice, Title XXXIV) requires all persons and corporations diverting the waters of the Standing Rock Reservation for energy development to obtain a permit from the Department of Water Resources. Under the Tribal Water Code and under federal law, the Tribe possesses “prior, exclusive… ownership of, and jurisdiction over all waters of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.” The Department of Water Resources is empowered to protect the quantity and quality of the Reservation’s waters from energy development and other water uses. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe can enter into Tax Collection Agreements with the States of North Dakota and South Dakota. It is through these agreements that the Standing Rock Sioux is able to impose oil & gas taxes on all development within the boundaries of the Standing Rock Reservation. Chairman Archambault is exploring all avenues in preparing for the impact of oil development. Two possible options being considered are to add additional taxes onto the oil industry within our boundaries. He is also considering what the cost and benefits would be in entering into oil and gas accords with the states. He is currently pulling together all regulatory tribal programs to ensure that codes and regulation are in place in a timely manner. Ending thought. As the oil and gas business is both a corporate & a profit first driven industry, we encourage that all land owners attain proper consultation before signing any land lease agreements. We have learned from the land grab activities that occurred in the early days of the Bakken oil boom on the Fort Berthold reservation; where hundreds of millions of dollars were lost due to unethical practices by groups/corporations/companies claiming to streamline the negotiating process for the leasing agreements of tribal member allotees. Many members were scammed into lease agreements, only to receive a fraction of the profits that were to be yielded from their lands. We do not wish to see this happen to our members here on Standing Rock.