Groups partner to oppose controversial oil and gas pipelines
The American Indian Movement of Central Texas (AIMCTX) will gather in downtown Alpine, TX, with allies to march to an Energy Transfer Partners’ (ETP) Trans-Pecos Pipeline (TPPL) construction site in a show of solidarity with the Native American people of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, who are protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The peaceful, nonviolent, nonpartisan gathering will take place Friday, September 30 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.
Defend Big Bend, Big Bend Conservation Alliance, and the Big Bend Sierra Club are collaborating with AIMCTX in the TPPL protest. Native American Austin musician Charlie Pierce of the Choctaw Wildfire band along with other musicians like Matt Lara have announced they will participate in this protest action in person.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) decision to grant permits for the pipeline, designed to export methane gas while packaged as a public-good utility, remains in appeal at the federal court level. The TPPL will cut a 143 mile-swath through the last vestige of wilderness in Texas desecrating as many as one ancient Native American site per square mile of its path. The Trap Springs archeological site, a very recent and significant find is in imminent danger of being bulldozed despite evidence of at least 5,000 years of occupation and a pending nomination as a State Archeological Landmark.
In addition, the export pipeline will connect with Mexico’s burgeoning pipeline network augmenting the extraction of 545 trillion cft of methane gas reserves (US Dept of Energy) via fracking. The intense exploration and production projected in Mexico’s vast fields will spawn a climate change multiplier of significant proportions.
The recent ten-billion-barrel discovery of hydro-carbons (said to be the largest in ten years worldwide) at the nearby Alpine High field in Far West Texas by Apache Corporation already has their CEO John Christmann “excited” for “sales to Mexico” to “tie-back into Waha” (start of the proposed TPPL) and expects to be exporting by “the second half of 2017.” Many in the Big Bend communities feel the Trans Pecos Pipeline and the new oil and gas infrastructure of Balmorhea and the Alpine High Field will threaten their limited water resources.
Chief William Hoff of the Tsalagiyi Nvdagi said the Bird’s Fort Treaty of 1843 signed with the Republic of Texas guaranteed hunting and subsistence rights of the native peoples of Texas but was not honored when the Republic became a state. “Big oil and gas and nuclear will destroy our plants, animals, water, and air. So, to me that is a violation of that treaty!” said Hoff.