To: Sen. Kevin Cramer (ND-2)
Senator Heidi Heitkamp, Stand with Standing Rock Sioux Against the Dakota Access Pipeline!
Oppose the Dakota Access Bakken Pipeline project, which threatens the sacred lands and clean water of the Standing Rock Sioux.
Why is this important?
Members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe of North Dakota have been protesting construction of the Dakota Access pipeline since April. The pipeline, also known as the Bakken Pipeline, will carry fracked crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken shalefields through South Dakota and Iowa to Illinois and then to Texas and Louisiana. In other words, it’s Keystone XL all over again.
The planned pipeline threatens to pollute tribal waters and crosses land sacred to tribes, so the Standing Rock Tribe have been gathering at the site where it burrows under the Missouri River — and now construction there is on hold.
Senator Heidi Heitkamp, who represents North Dakota, has refused to take a stand on the pipeline. On the one hand, she claims to be a “strong and vocal advocate for North Dakota’s tribes” who is “dedicated to making sure our Native American brothers and sisters are not forgotten,” and tribes helped deliver her margin of victory in her 2012 Senate race.
On the other hand, she’s the most fossil-fuel-friendly Democrat in the Senate, constantly using her position to promote oil and coal. On the tough Climate Hawks Vote scorecard, she scored -68 (scale from -100 to +100) - that makes her the worst Democrat in the Senate on climate.
If we are to have any hope at all of staving off climate catastrophe, we need to halt the fracking of North Dakota’s oil shalefields—not build export pipelines that would allow the Bakken oil boom to increase. Halting the Dakota Access pipeline is critical to keeping the Bakken crude in the ground.
Protests began in April, but they’ve picked up pace after the Army Corps of Engineers issued a questionable permit for the pipeline to cross the Missouri River, the source of the Standing Rock Sioux’s drinking water. Construction began on that segment on August 10, when the Standing Rock set up a peaceful encampment that put a halt to the work. A federal injunction barring Standing Rock protesters from “trespassing on private land” may come at any moment.
Heidi Heitkamp, it’s time to take a stand. Standing Rock Sioux chair David Archambault has asked you to oppose the pipeline. Stand with the tribes who helped elect you in 2012, and for a livable climate for all.