I find this story to be similar to what happened with Native Americans and colonists back in the 1800s. The Native Americans try to protect their land while their colonists tried to kick them out for economical or political reasons.
The North Dakota pipeline issue is the essentially the same thing. The United States is trying to build a oil pipeline adjacent to a Native American reservation. In ethical terms, I personally believe this is wrong. For example, the United States has established many National Parks throughout the country and those parks are considered off limits to industry. The Native American preservation sites should be considered with the same restrictions. It is reserved for Native Americans and since their culture has been fading away from today’s world, it is important for them to keep their culture and land alive for the future generations.
On the other hand, it is vital for the United States to build this oil pipeline. It essentially boosts their oil output and transportation, therefore, helping the economy. It also helps the United States’s position in OPEC and the world oil trading market.
All in all, it is a tough issue to achieve a compromise. If there is any way for Energy Transfer to divert the pipeline away from the preservation then that would solve everything. However, there is not a solution to this and resulted an uproar between the police and the protesters.
Photo by rickz CC BY-NC-ND 2.0