Anti-Keystone Pipeline Demonstrators To Confront Obama During North Dakota Visit


I wrote earlier today that President Barack Obama will likely be hearing some pro-energy arguments during his visit to North Dakota.

Tex Hall, chairman of the Three Affiliated Tribes at the Fort Berthold Reservation, wants to tell the President to back off federal regulation of oil and gas development on tribal lands. Senator Heidi Heitkamp has said that she plans to push the President to approve the Keystone XL pipeline during her flight with him to North Dakota.

But it appears as though President Obama will hear from anti-fossil fuel activists too. According to the website Bold Nebraska, a group of anti-Keystone pipeline activists will confront the President during his visit to the Standing Rock reservation today.

On Friday, Pres. Obama will travel to Indian Country to meet with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in Cannonball, North Dakota, six years after he first visited the Crow Nation in Montana, who adopted Pres. Obama and gave him an Indian name — Awe Kooda Bilaxpak Kuxshish, which translates as, “One Who Helps People Throughout the Land.”

A group of our allies will be there to greet Pres. Obama’s motorcade as he enters Indian Country with a #NoKXL message. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is officially opposed to Keystone XL.

The #NoKXL greeting party will meet at the Cannon Ball Pit Stop in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, arriving by 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 13. It’s not likely that Pres. Obama will stop and meet with anyone as he drives past our location, but it’s important that our #NoKXL message reaches him during his visit to Indian Country. If you plan to head up to N.D., wear a Pipeline Fighter t-shirt if you have one, and bring your homemade #NoKXL sign!

North Dakota’s Native American reservations tend to have disparate views on oil development. Anti-fossil fuel feelings run high on the Standing Rock reservation, as well as the Turtle Mountain reservation in the northern part of the state (the latter has actually passed a resolution banning fracking on tribal lands).

But the reservation in North Dakota which actually has oil (Fort Berthold produces about 30 percent of North Dakota’s oil production and would be the 7th largest oil producing state in the nation if it were a state) is very much pro-oil development, questioning whether or not the federal government even has the authority to regulate oil activity on tribal lands.

Currently unemployment on the Fort Berthold reservation is under 2 percent. At Standing Rock, it’s nearly 80 percent while at Turtle Mountain it’s over 67 percent.

Update: Not a very large group of protesters: