Winter is coming. This knowledge is not just limited to Game of Thrones characters or fans of dank memes, but also to a small community in Texas. Dakota Access, a company based in the Lone Star State, is responsible for the construction of a pipeline that would carry 500,000 barrels of crude oil every day from North Dakota to Wisconsin.
The company has faced resistance from thousands of individuals all over the world, yet Dakota Access has somehow managed to handle things fairly smoothly. But, soon these Southerners will face an even bigger challenge: the frozen tundra that is the Midwest.
In order to prepare for this, engineers have already begun drafting a new strategy for preserving the pipeline—which is expected to be over a thousand miles long upon completion—so that it can resist the harsh and bitter winds that are colder than the hearts of those who are in charge of building it.
Constance Billings, the corporation’s chief executive officer, says it would normally be difficult for a group of hot-headed people to figure out how to brace themselves for the cold, but this plan took just five minutes to brainstorm—about as long as it took them to justify the invasion and destruction of the indigenous lands with the construction of their project.
The plan: In order to keep the oil from freezing, workers are to insulate the pipeline with hundreds and hundreds of dollar bills. This will ensure protection against the ongoing winter ahead. It also doubles as a giant piggy bank for corporate greed.
The cost: While the original plan was to have the pipeline completed much earlier, the $30.8 billion project has been subjected to a number of legal delays. With the upcoming need for insulation, the project will now double in cost in order for it to brave the elements.
The upside: Stuffing the pipeline with money is a great example of real life ties to capitalism and environmental justice. The pipeline is an actual political cartoon, which can save teachers several minutes of looking up examples of metaphors for their English classes.
Billings says she is not concerned about the social or environmental impacts of the pipeline, but recognizes the short and long-term issues that come with this insulation plan.
“The only people who will directly suffer from this plan are people like me,” Billings said, pulling out her wallet. “Look at this. I don’t have much money. I’m investing all I have into this plan, but ten dollars from my pocket now can mean tens of thousands of dollars later.”
Funding is expected to come from the billions of dollars saved by building directly on indigenous lands instead of building elsewhere. Billings said their budget took several extra weeks to create, as they had to decide whether to use existing funds on a corporate office gelato machine, or for creating and supporting future projects in environmental racism. In the end, after a six-to-five vote, the budgetary committee decided on funding the latter.
“As much as we all love a nice, cold dessert, we decided on something much cooler,” Billings said. “The warranty on those machines only last a few years anyway, but the destruction of cultures and land lasts forever. Sorry not sorry, Sioux.”
Next on the list for Dakota Access: limiting Dakota access to clean water. Then, limiting Lakota access. And then Cheyenne access, followed by Ojibwe access.
“Pretty soon Dakota Access will have all access,” Billings said.
The money has already started going into the pipeline.