- Associated Press - Saturday, March 29, 2014

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - A new front in the battle against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline is opening up for American Indian tribes and others in south-central South Dakota.

A group sanctioned by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe is setting up a prayer camp near Mission to keep up pressure against TransCanada Corp.’s pipeline that would move 830,000 barrels of oil a day from Canada to Texas’ Gulf Coast refineries, the Rapid City Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1rPp3nr ).

The pipeline also would move 100,000 barrels of domestic oil daily from North Dakota’s Bakken region.

Aldo Seoane, coordinator for the Shielding the People Project, said part of the pipeline’s path cuts through an area that contains tribal artifacts. The tribe also has concerns about trouble from pipeline workers and the tribe’s sovereign rights being violated by the project.

“Rosebud wasn’t consulted in the process of getting the pipeline put through,” said Seoane.

The $5.3 billion pipeline would carry oil derived from tar sands in western Canada through the U.S. heartland to refineries in Texas.

Pipeline supporters, including lawmakers from both parties and many business and labor groups, say the project would create thousands of jobs and reduce the need for oil imports from Venezuela and other politically turbulent countries.

Opponents say the pipeline would carry “dirty oil” that contributes to global warming. They also worry about possible spills.

Vic Camp, an organizer with the group Owe Aku, has been working with tribes in the Midwest and western parts of the country that oppose the pipeline. Camp urged listeners on a South Dakota radio show Thursday to support the prayer camp.

“We say no to all mining and drilling for oil and any other mineral right now that can contaminate the water,” Camp said.

The proposed pipeline cleared a big hurdle in January when the State Department raised no major environmental objections to its construction. President Barack Obama has said he expects to make a decision on the project in in the coming weeks.

Seoane said the prayer camp will be active until Obama “says ‘no’ on the pipeline.”

___

Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com