Some updates on things I've talked about recently.
First, I said just a couple of weeks ago that "the stench of corruption ... continues to thicken" around the drive to build the Dakota Access pipeline, the DAPL. It just thickened some more.
When the Army Corps of Engineers released an Environmental Impact Statement about the project last August, it included a controversial conclusion regarding environmental justice issues that "the proposed [pipeline] would not disproportionately affect identified minority or low-income populations."
It now turns out, based on court records, that the source for that bit of supposed analysis was not the Corps of Engineers. It was the pipeline's builders, Dakota Access LLC and its contractor, HDR Inc.
And how did the corporation reach that oh-so-convenient conclusion? Not by examining the economic status of the Standing Rock Sioux and the impact an oil leak could have on the community's drinking water and agriculture, but by making comparisons with other low-income communities in the state. And because the pipeline would "cross less than the overall state average of 12 percent of impoverished populations," that, they said, meant the pipeline does not disproportionately impact low-income populations. And if that wasn't enough of a slammer, the report also argued that the route would impact one percent fewer Native Americans and Alaska Natives than a previously considered route.
So, see? No problem of environmental justice!
In other words, the corporations didn't look at actual potential environmental and cultural impacts, they just looked at population sizes as if that was the whole issue.
Then that self-serving corporate assessment was largely wrapped into the Army Corps impact statement.
This whole thing just stinks.