The ExxonMobil and other major oil companies are determined to run their trucks loaded with equipment through the Nez Perce reservation in order to get to the tar sands in Alberta Canada.
Going through Washington, Idaho, Montana, and then north to Alberta, Canada, this project called the “Heavy Haul”, would create a “permanent industrial corridor”. A permanent and frequently used path would be created, consequently bringing in the dirty industrial world into the reservations. Luckily no trucks have used this route….yet.
But wait, what’s the issue? These are reservations, right? With that being said, aren’t they protected? Shouldn’t they be protected? Well, according to the oil companies, the benefits of this project outweigh the costs, thus it should be allowed. The oil companies claim this project creates jobs, road expansion, and “a boom in economic development”. But does it really? An opposing critic, Winona LaDuke of Indian Country Today Media Network, argues that these “benefits” aren’t really benefits at all and most certainly do not outweigh the costs. She states that although jobs may be created, the spots for them may have already been filled and are thus unavailable; and the tourists probably won’t appreciate the new industrial scenery, thus the money from tourism alone will outweigh any benefit. And the oil companies (not surprisingly) avoid the most important issues: the people and the environment.
If approved, the Heavy Haul will not only create a “permanent industrial corridor” in the heart of the Nez Perce reservation, but will also “destroy a large chunk of Canada’s boreal forest. In doing so, this project is walking all over the spirituality and way of life of the native people, not to mention is literally destroying animals and their natural habitats. Anyone with eyes can see that the costs outweigh the benefits in this project. So what is the motivation? I can express the ridiculous, unethical, yet so common motivation of these oil companies in a simple inequality equation: