An American Indian tribe in New Jersey is recruiting protesters to help them turn a multi-state oil pipeline into another protest on par with the Dakota Access Pipeline demonstrations.
The Ramapough Lunaape tribe is attempting to spark a nationwide protest against the so-called Pilgrim pipeline, an oil project running from New York to the Bayway Refinery in New Jersey. Though not yet approved, the Pilgrim pipeline is expected to travel through the tribe’s reservation, which has the tribe steaming mad.
They are erecting protest signs alongside teepees once built to recognize the Standing Rock Sioux, a North Dakota tribe whose protests pressured the Army Corps of Engineers to reject the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Standing Rock, along with myriad environmentalists, have relentlessly blasted the $3.8 billion pipeline and believe the DAPL’s construction would trample on tribal lands and destroy ancient tribal artifacts. They also think it would, once completed, poison the Missouri River and Lake Oahe, where the tribe gets its drinking water.
The Ramapough, meanwhile, are making similar arguments, telling reporters that they are being used as pawns by oil companies running roughshod over their ancestral land.
“The community needs to stop looking at the Ramapoughs as the canary in the mine and get their helmets on and stand with us, because if that goes it doesn’t matter what your home costs, you can’t drink oil,” said Chief Dwaine Perry who is leading opposition.
Their opposition has hit a bit of a legal snag recently, as the Ramapoughs lack the necessary permits to camp-out on land near the pipeline’s proposed route.
Mahwah, the Northern New Jersey town housing the reservoir, issued summons against the tribe for illegally occupying the area despite agreeing that the pipeline’s route through Ramapo Valley Reservation is unacceptable.
“One leak will determine the fate of our community and the millions of people between here and the Newark basin,” Mahwah Mayor William Laforet said.
Oil pipelines have come under withering scrutiny recently thanks in part to President Barack Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL Pipeline in 2014 and the massive DAPL protests earlier this year.
Environmentalist are also attacking a Canadian oil pipeline approved by Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau.
Activists filed a lawsuit there Tuesday challenging the approval of the Kinder Morgan Trans-Mountain pipeline, a $6.8-billion project tripling the capacity of the northern Alberta-to-Burnaby pipeline system to nearly 1 million barrels of oil a day.
Environmentalists and conservationists believe the pipeline, which would run through the Atlantic Ocean, could render the area’s whale population extinct within a matter of years.
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