Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

January 21, 2018

'Big Industry Cronies Lie -- Divide and Conquer of Oil and Gas Industry' by Lisa DeVille

.Letter to the Editor                                             1-19-18

By Lisa DeVille, Fort Berthold Protectors of Water Earth Rights
Mandaree, ND

Davis Refinery near the Theodora Roosevelt National Park

I attended the Department of Health’s hearing for a minor source synthetic air quality permit for Davis refinery on January 17 in Dickinson. I was one of many people who oppose the fact that Meridian has the audacity to want to site a refinery near Theodore Roosevelt National Park. 

I can speak from experience; my community is impacted by oil and gas. I’ve seen every tactic that companies use when they want to develop an area.

I’ve seen the devastation that a refinery can bring to communities and can see the inevitable desecration that will be brought to our only National Park.

First, I and every speaker in attendance that oppose the refinery are not paid. It’s sad that pro-refinery folks resulted to insulting people who had every right to testify.

The public comments ran about 4 hours long, with overwhelming opposition (30-12) to industrializing the perimeter of TRNP.

I’ve learned that when large industries come into small communities, they intentionally divide to conquer. Citizens that were once friends and neighbors are pitted against each other over false promises such as jobs, and money. In my experience, the pie in the sky is only for a select few and the external costs and damages are on the shoulders of everyone else.

I urge the DOH to deny this air permit, it’s foolish to think that it’s our right to allow a company with no long-term interest in North Dakota to compromise our park.

If this company was going to bring such prosperity to the Belfield area, why would they have contingencies on their promises? Such as “once the refinery gets going, THEN you can have a new school.” If they were trying to be honest with the public, they would go through the proper siting permit with the Public Service Commission. Don’t fall for empty promises, big industry cronies lie.

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