The state of Texas has vast reserves of oil and natural gas under its soil. To bring those resources to the public, energy companies are building underground pipelines so that the oil and gas can be transferred to refineries safely and quickly.
However, some Texans take exception to the pipelines being built, citing a number of different reasons for their disagreement. The dissent between energy companies and native tribes in Texas and beyond is slowing down pipeline projects that are near completion.
The Controversy Behind the Texas Pipeline
Texas is a state that is associated with Big Oil and tons of natural gas reserves. So what, then, could the issue be with the state’s newest plans to build a pipeline in the southern part of Texas, right by the border?
The answer lies in how native tribes in Texas view the project and the threat to what the tribe claims to be its ancestral lands. They say that the project will disrupt spiritual sites that the tribe believe are sacred and should be left undisturbed.
To deter any more action from the pipeline’s builder, the tribes have set up camps on the development sites. They plan to camp there as long as necessary to bring the project to a halt. The energy company claims that the timeline for the protest is bizarre, since the pipeline is 90 percent complete. It was not until recently that the tribes had a problem with the pipeline being built.
Even so, the tribe says that it will take a page out of the book of the tribes in North Dakota at Standing Rock. They plan to use non-violent means to protest and disrupt work on the pipeline.
The company has defended itself in emails and have made solid claims that it is not impeding on sacred grounds or threatening water access and rights. The company accuses the tribe of looking for a payout and for media coverage that would put it on par with the North Dakota tribes.
The Appeal and Use for Underground Pipelines
Why do energy companies need to build pipelines to transport crude oil and gas to refineries? Why not employ another method or leave the underground reserves alone? In fact, it would be impractical to leave reserves of oil and gas alone when the U.S. has such a high demand for natural resources like these.
At the very least, the oil and gas can be stored in reserves until times of military or economic crises. Furthermore, pipelines are the safest and cleanest way to transport reserves to refineries without damaging the environment.
The pipes are typically run next to water reserves underground, so that water sources are not tainted or disturbed. Furthermore, the pipelines are typically run out of the way of sacred sites like ancient burial grounds and cemeteries.
Finally, as the U.S. economy gets back on track, states like Texas rely on the creation of new jobs. New jobs bring more workers to the state.
The workers in turn pay into the economy and provide Texas with much-needed sources of revenue. As such, pipelines are a wave of the future and expected to become a mainstay in the American energy and oil reserve industries.
The U.S. government takes every precaution to negotiate and compromise with native tribes in Texas and elsewhere. However, the tribes are also expected to deal fairly with the American government in return.
Tribes in Texas and other states are increasingly protesting the development of pipelines that are being built to transport oil and natural gas. They use arguments like the pipelines disturbing ancient burial grounds even if the pipeline will be built around such sites.
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