Bill McKibben: Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance Powerful Enough to Overwhelm Fossil Fuel Industry

AMY GOODMAN: So, that was the scene. Describe what is actually taking place here and what is at stake, why the Dakota Access pipeline would want to hurt these protesters.

BILL McKIBBEN: So, first thing to understand that what’s taking place there is the—everybody else acknowledging what some of us have known for a long time, which is that frontline communities, and particularly indigenous people, have been in the forefront of this climate fight. They were in the Keystone fight, and now clearly in the Dakotas. They’re holding the line against something that threatens not only their reservation, but threatens the whole planet. We do not—we cannot pump more oil. We’ve got to stop opening up new reserves.

Their work there is astonishing. Against all odds, they’ve been able, at least for the moment, to bring a temporary halt to some of that construction, giving, one hopes, cooler heads a chance to look at the available data and common sense to prevail. Earlier this year, the president said that any new project should have to pass a climate test. There is an even stiffer version of that in the next Democratic platform. This pipeline couldn’t pass those climate tests. It should be stopped. Thank heaven for the bravery of those people and, really, for the environmental justice movement that’s sprung up all around the country. Not even have sprung up—you know, today we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of UPROSE, the—really, one of the original, seminal environmental justice outfits here in New York. That’s where the leadership is coming from, and it’s really powerful to see.