Tulsi Gabbard just took the floor of Congress to demand Obama protect Standing Rock (VIDEO)|
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) took to the House floor Thursday in an impassioned plea to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline.
In a sternly worded 5-minute speech, Rep. Gabbard outlined the multiple dangers surrounding the pipeline, which has been challenged by hundreds of indigenous tribes this year who say stopping the pipeline is essential for the protection of their drinking water and natural resources.
“Just one spill near the tribe’s reservation could release thousands of barrels of crude oil, contaminating the tribe’s drinking water.” Gabbard said. “Protecting our water is not a partisan political issue. It is an issue that is important to all people, and all living beings, everywhere. Water is life. We cannot survive without it. Once we allow an aquifer to be polluted, there is very little that can be done about it.”
During her speech, Gabbard pointed out that the Standing Rock Sioux have reason to protest the pipeline’s construction, as the companies behind the project have a long record of safety violations and environmental degradation.
“The impact of the Dakota Access Pipeline is clear. Energy Transfer Partners, the company that’s constructing the Dakota Pipeline, has a serious history of pipeline explosions, which have caused injury, death, and significant property damage in the past decade,” Gabbard said.
“The future operator of the planned pipeline, Sunoco Logistics, has had over two hundred environmentally damaging oil spills in the last six years alone — more than any of its competitors,” she continued.
Rep. Gabbard — who is one of the 2,000 veterans planning to join the ongoing pipeline protests at Standing Rock this weekend — also blasted the Army Corps of Engineers for granting permits for the pipeline’s construction without input from the communities most likely to suffer in the event of a spill or explosion.
“Despite strong opposition from the Standing Rock Sioux, and serious concerns raised by the EPA, the Department of Interior, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and other federal agencies, the Army Corps of Engineers approved permits to construct the Dakota Access Pipeline without adequately consulting the tribes, and without fully evaluating the potential impacts to the neighboring tribal lands, sacred sites, and their water supply,” Gabbard said.
At the conclusion of her speech, Rep. Gabbard strongly urged President Barack Obama to use the last month of his presidency to halt the pipeline’s construction out of a necessity to protect natural resources for future generations.
“Respect the sacred lands of the Standing Rock Sioux, and respect their right to clean water,” Gabbard said. “Whether it’s a threat to essential water sources in this region, the lead-contaminated water in Flint, Michigan, or the threat posed to a major Hawaii aquifer… each example underscores the vital importance of protecting our water resources.”
Watch the full video of Tulsi Gabbard’s speech below:
In a speech on the House floor Thursday, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard called on President Obama to immediately halt…
Tom Cahill is a writer for US Uncut based in the Pacific Northwest. He specializes in coverage of political, economic, and environmental news. You can contact him via email at [email protected], or friend him on Facebook.