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Thursday, August 8, 2013

The white man screws over Native Americans yet one more time

If you listened to NPR last evening, you may have heard this story:

Dirty water from the oil wells flows through oil-caked pipes into a settling pit where trucks vacuum off the oil. A net covers the pit to keep out birds and other wildlife. Streams of this wastewater flow through the reservation and join natural creeks and rivers.

It's a real beauty.

It's not like the European settlers didn't cheat, lie, hurt, maim, torture and kill Native Americans enough since we arrive here about 500 years ago. We have to, apparently, keep on doing all we can to hurt these people.

A little from the story:

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to let oil companies continue to dump polluted wastewater on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. This includes chemicals that companies add to the wells during hydraulic fracturing, an engineering practice that makes wells produce more oil.

An NPR investigation last year discovered that the EPA was allowing oil companies to send so much of this contaminated water onto dry land that it was creating raging streams. At the time, there was a controversy within the agency over whether to keep allowing this practice, according to documents NPR obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

On Friday, the EPA will close the public comment period on proposed permits for several oil fields on the reservations. The proposed permits include some additional restrictions, but would allow companies to continue releasing the water.

So the EPA may let the oil companies keep draining their wastewater onto what is the Native American's land. Isn't that great?

And check out a short list of just some of the things that may be in the water:

"The biggest concern is still what's in the water," says Duke University's Jackson. "It has salts, metals, radioactive elements like radium, and chemicals such as benzene, and sometimes at levels 150 times what's allowed in drinking water. Who wants to eat a cow that drinks water laced in benzene?" (Robert Jackson, a professor of environmental science at Duke University.)

Let's see, we came here, 500 years ago, took their land, killed many of them, shot, hurt, tortured, maimed and killed others, took away their language, their dress, their religion, their culture, gave them alcohol and guns, shoved them off to obscure lands we call, hypocritically enough, "Reservations"--because hey, we're reserving them a space in our country, right?--and now, on top of all that, we're going to heavily pollute their land and water and poison their and our own animals, water and soil and someone thinks this is okay and that it should continue?

Oh, hell, no.  We need to put an end to this ugliness, this gross injustice.

It's no way to treat the water, the soil and especially no way to treat a group people.


Hyperblogal said...

Oh what could possibly go wrong with this continued operation.

Kevin E said...

Truth be told, it's already going wrong.