The Dakota Access oil pipeline has been cause of much controversy over the last few months. Vox has an excellent explainer on why this is a big deal. According to Vox, the pipeline would carry "450,000 barrels of crude per day from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota down to a terminal in Illinois." However, local residents of Standing Rock Indian Reservation have been protesting and are concerned that the pipeline would contaminate local water, and a leak or a spill could prove deadly.
This has led to a huge back and forth, with police spraying protesters with tear gas, and blowing water cannons at them in freezing temperatures. It's getting ugly and the media isn't exactly making this a big issue. One person who clearly sees the problem, is Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe, who just announced he'll be heading down to protest in and Instagram post:
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I am a surfer, and a true son of the South Eastern Coast of the United States. This means I spend a lot of time in the relatively warm waters of Virginia & North Carolina; in fact I spend as much time in those waters as possible given my job as a touring musician- whenever I can I ride waves, I fish, & I swim in the ocean. I have not been able to surf for a few months now because of touring with 2 different bands, & I am dying to go catch a wave. So now when I am finally off tour, why am I going far inland to freezing North Dakota (of all places), where people are getting tear gassed & arrested, instead of to the much warmer beach to chill? I am going because as a surfer, I know that all of our planet's water is connected, and that you cannot poison a river without it eventually leading to the sea. I am going because there are people trying to stop a river from being poisoned, & they need firewood, coffee, wool blankets, winter sleeping bags, & strong hands that know how to swing an ax- I have those things, so I am driving them there. I am going & bringing my Ojibwe bro David so that he can hoist his tribal flag & represent his people, & I can represent the South Eastern punk rock wave riders. I am going because I have been planning this for weeks, my heart tells me it is the right thing to do, & my spirit is restless & will not sit still inside of me until I do something besides talk about how horrible it is we are destroying our planet. So people of Standing Rock, @rollingcloud1 & I are on our way from Minnesota- we come in peace, but make no mistake- we are coming in full effect, & we are coming to stand with you. #nodapl #waterislife #hokahey
We commend Blythe for his bravery and hope he stays safe.
Update Blythe has made it to the protest and seems to be going okay:
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11.23.2016 "Stand" Oceti Sakowin Camp, Standing Rock, ND. We have been here for two days now. It's peaceful, & the people have welcomed us, fed us, & helped us with what we needed. Cell reception is very limited, so more details later after we have left. I will just say that the energy here is very powerful. Peace y'all. #leica #leicamonochromem #nodapl