Letter: Climate change needs attention

ISU students have a unique and local opportunity to stand up for climate justice. We can help stop the Bakken Oil pipeline proposed by Energy Transfer Partners, a Texas-based oil company. The pipeline would cross Story Country, along with 17 other Iowa counties, and be operational by end of 2016. We know already that Energy Transfer Partner’s proposed project is not in the best interests of the public good. How do we know?

Because oil companies make their profit by exploiting land and people, even as we know that our oil economy is accelerating climate change and jeopardizing our future. 

Pipelines eventually leak, as one North Dakota farmer found out when he discovered an oil spill the size of seven football fields bubbling up from the ground during his wheat harvest last fall. The cleanup of the polluted water and contaminated soil is often left to the taxpayers. The risks associated with the oil extraction have led to North Dakota having the highest rate of worker deaths in the U.S. Indigenous women are trafficked to and disappear in the Bakken oil field boomtowns. 

But we can help to stop all of this. We can shut them down. If we do not allow Energy Transfer Partner or other oil companies to use Iowa as a transfer zone then they will not be able to move their oil. If they cannot move their oil, the oil will stay in the ground. 

To date, over 2,300 petition signatures have been delivered to Gov. Terry Branstad. We must demand that our state’s leaders work instead with industries that will benefit the public by promoting sustainable sources of energy such as solar and wind. 

What can you do? Join with a growing coalition of community members to discuss this proposed project. We will meet at 2 p.m. Dec. 6 at Ames City Hall in the Council Chambers at 515 Clark Ave. Visit our Facebook page, “Stop the Iowa Bakken Oil Pipeline,” to learn more information about our efforts.