The next Standing Rock: Fossil fuel battles loom across North America

When news broke that the Army Corps of Engineers would not grant a permit necessary for the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline to cross the Missouri River, the thousands of water protectors, environmental activists, and concerned citizens who spent months protesting the pipeline’s construction erupted in celebration.

However, the Dakota Access pipeline, which would carry up to 570,000 barrels of oil from the Bakken oilfields of North Dakota nearly 1,200 miles to a hub in Illinois, is far from the only pipeline under construction in North America.

Just last week, Canada’s Liberal government approved two major pipeline projects that, if constructed, would greatly expand the amount of tar sands oil being funneled from Alberta to refineries worldwide.

On the East Coast of the United States, the victory at Standing Rock resonated for opponents of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which would carry natural gas 600 miles from West Virginia to North Carolina.

Dominion, the energy company behind the project, has applied for permits to run the pipeline through land designated for conservation — and the proposed route would take it through historic battlefields and near a Native American burial ground.

But pipelines aren’t the only fossil fuel infrastructure projects that are bound to run into citizen opposition in the coming months and years. Along the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the Columbia River are three proposed projects that, if constructed, would constitute the country’s largest coal export terminal, largest crude-oil-by-rail terminal, and largest methanol refinery.

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