Local politics, the county, and the world, as viewed by Tammy Maygra

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Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Washington - Posts | Facebook

Missing and murdered Native American Women. Save other’s from the Man camps.


Keystone XL and Native America


The U.S. Supreme Court handed another setback to the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline from Canada on Monday by keeping in place a lower court ruling that blocked a key environmental permit for the project.

Canadian company TC Energy needs the permit to continue building the long-disputed pipeline across U.S. rivers and streams. Without it, the project that has been heavily promoted by President Donald Trump faces more delay just as work on it had finally begun this year following years of courtroom battle.

Monday’s Supreme Court order also put on hold an earlier court ruling out of Montana as it pertains to other oil and gas pipelines across the nation.

That’s a sliver of good news for an industry that just suffered two other blows — Sunday’s cancellation of the $8 billion Atlantic Coast gas pipeline in the Southeast and a Monday ruling that shut down the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota.

In the Keystone case, an April ruling from U.S. District Judge Brian Morris in Montana had threatened to delay not just Keystone but more than 70 pipeline projects across the U.S., and add as much as $2 billion in costs, according to industry representatives.

Morris agreed with environmentalists who contended a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers construction permit program was allowing companies to skirt responsibility for damage done to water bodies.

But the Trump administration and industry attorneys argued the permit, in place since the 1970s, was functioning properly when it was cancelled by Morris over concerns about endangered species being harmed during pipeline construction.

TC Energy spokesman Terry Cunha said the company is not giving up on Keystone, but it will have to delay large portions of the 1,200-mile (1,900-kilometer) oil sands pipeline. The company started construction last week on a 329-mile (530-kilometer) section of the line in Alberta. That work will continue while the company wages its court fight in the U.S., Cunha said.

An attorney for one of the environmental groups involved in the case called Monday’s order a major victory in the fight against Keystone. But he acknowledged the plaintiffs had hoped to hamper oil and gas projects nationwide.

“Our focus was originally on Keystone, so we’re very happy the court order ensures it can’t move forward under this unlawful permit,” said Jared Margolis, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity.

Pipeline industry representatives said the order means thousands of workers whose jobs were threatened can continue working. A coalition of 18 states had backed the Trump administration in the case.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said the Supreme Court’s action “ensures that one Montana district court judge doesn’t possess the power to drive national policy on such a critical issue.”

The order returns the case to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for further consideration.

Keystone was proposed in 2008 and would carry up to 830,000 barrels (35 million gallons) of crude daily to Nebraska, where it would be transferred to another TC Energy pipeline for shipment to refineries and export terminals on the Gulf of Mexico.

It was rejected twice under the Obama administration because of concerns that it could worsen climate change. Trump revived it and has been an outspoken proponent of the $8 billion project.

TC Energy’s surprise March 31 announcement that it intended to start construction amid a global economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic came after the provincial government in Alberta invested $1.1 billion to jump-start the work.

The company finished building the first piece of Keystone XL across the U.S. border in late May and started work on labor camps in Montana and South Dakota.

Violence against Native American Women in Construction Camps along the Keystone Pipeline.

Among several witnesses to offer expert testimony on wide-ranging potential threats of the project, First Peoples Worldwide Staff Attorney Kate Finn provided insights and expertise for the Yankton Sioux Tribe specifically regarding the immediate and enduring harm to Indigenous communities caused by extractive industry man camps – the hundreds and often thousands of workers who are brought to an oil, gas or mining project and given temporary housing for the duration of the project.

Studies have shown that man camps bring violence and localize violent crime in places where it would not otherwise be. The camps by nature create a rapid increase in the population of the area, which can strain community infrastructure, such as law enforcement and human services, especially in rural areas where law enforcement is charged with providing services to extensive swaths of land. The increase in population can lead to an increase in physical and sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual assault of minors, and sex trafficking in the affected communities.

Looking at the rapid rise of oil workers to the oil producing regions, where they were housed in man camps, the study showed that from 2006 to 2012, the rate of violent victimization, particularly of aggravated assault, increased 70%. The study also found that the rates of serious violent victimization – i.e. homicide, non-negligent manslaughter, rape and sexual assault, robbery and aggravated assault – increased 30% in the Bakken region.

Of particular note, the increase of violent victimization by strangers increased by 53% in the Bakken region, the violent victimization of Blacks and Native Americans was 2.5 times higher than corresponding rates for whites, and, while men experienced higher rates of violent crime as well, women experienced a 54% increase in the rate of unlawful sexual contact, which was due to a rise in reports of statutory rape. The potential for harm from the man camps is exacerbated when the locations of extractive projects are on or near Native communities, where already higher rates of violence against women and lower access to justice create a system ripe for the exploitation of Native women and children.

A 2008 report from the National Institute of Justice showed that Native women face murder rates at more than 10 times the national average in some places in the United States. A 2016 follow-up report, Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women and Men, found that more than 4 in 5 American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced violence in their lifetime, and that more than half of these women have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime. The same report shows that 96% of these American Indian and Alaska Native female victims have experienced violence from a non-Native perpetrator.

The vast majority of the workers at man camps are non-Native. Because of the limits of criminal jurisdiction in Indian Country, the tribe cannot prosecute them for any acts of criminal violence, including sexual assault and trafficking. Since man camps are localized, the localized rise in violence has a potential to intimately impact entire communities.

As detailed in First Peoples' Responsible Resource Development paper, the impacts of violence are life-long for survivors. The experience of sexual violence can lead to severe depression, long-term mental health issues, less educational attainment, drug abuse, anxiety, PTSD and even suicide. And the impacts of trauma are not just held by one person but are felt as a ripple effect across their community. The initial victim is likely a daughter, sister, wife, mother, cousin, friend, and parent, and her trauma will be experienced by all. These hideous crimes will effect generations.

People only think of the environment or jobs, or making money when they support or object to huge construction projects like these pipelines. No one ever mentions the other concerns/ or harm to Native women or children when there is a mass workforce brought in to the local area. It is wrong and sad that people are such filth. And that these horrific acts are ignored because the assaults, rapes, child trafficking  are happening  to Native American people and some other local women.

These men should be held accountable no matter where they have committed the crime or to whom.





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