Big plans for Big Oil

Youth march against DAPL

A group of youth demonstrators marching from Cannonball River to the Oceti Sakowin Campground. (Photo by Jacqueline Keeler)

Sandy Tolan made five trips to North Dakota this past fall and winter to document the standoff between opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the pipeline’s supporters in government and business. As he reported on the conflict, he came to realize that the Standing Rock protests were part of a much larger story.

Facing declining demand for petroleum at home, U.S. oil and gas companies are rushing to finish projects designed to strengthen their positions in world export markets. And everywhere they go, they are meeting resistance from indigenous groups and climate activists.

Sandy spent the last five months talking to politicians and oil company executives, who talk of making America “energy independent,” and activists all over the country worried about their land, their culture, and the future of the planet.

You can learn what he found out a report for Reveal, “Fuels rush in: U.S. oil companies hurry to lay pipelines under Trump,” and in an 18-minute special report for Living on Earth, “Big plans for and against big oil.”