The Blackfeet reservation possesses some unique beauty but under it, there are valuable resources, like oil that is sealed inside the tight shale approximated to be thousands of feet under the ground (Healy). The exercise has split the tribe leading to emergence of a debate over the capacity and abilities of hydraulic fracturing and fracking. The debate comes as a result of ideological differences as many of the residents even view the land as sacred and symbol of life that should not be interfered with.
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The group opposing the whole practice argues that the land acts as a tourist attraction site thus a source of foreign exchange and subsequently source of income to the government and the residents respectively (Rosier 56). They say their lifeline is dependent on the land.
Contrary, those supporting the practice respond that since recession hits the globe, the number of tourists has significantly fallen thus the land has become more of a liability than the asset as it was before (Healy). On job creation, it is approximated that 49 job vacancies could be created in a single drilling rig (Rosier 56).
The tribes’ men that support this move said that this was a method of wealth creation and that their land would soon be independent and stable thus being free from external intervention (Bryan 115). Economists in the region explain that the fracking process is very economical to the tribe compared to other methods but it is alleged that this will only be in the short run as the dangers in the long run will exceed the benefits (Okon 89).
As the oil rigs were being constructed, others argued that the tribe was making an irreversible mistake that would in the long term come to haunt the whole community. Blackfeet tribal’s business council newly elected member, Cheryl Little Dog, was heard saying that the mountains belonged to the tribe as a whole and should not be ruined at the expense of oil rigs (Healy).
Environmentalists within the area argue that if fracking operations are to continue, then everybody within and outside the region is going to suffer as the air will be continuously contaminated. Watersheds considered to be sensitive could also be contaminated in the process (Grinnell 118). Not only had the sacredness of the land that concerns the opposing side but also the acute consequences that are to be faced (Healy).
They say that they have always faced terrific problems in the past but presently they have a chance of facing somehow the most intimidating challenge: an environmental degradation (Rosier 40).
Such pollutions of the air and water are always a hazard to the environment and those who live within it have to note that their health is at risk (Healy). Experts demonstrate that not only is the process of fracking makes wells contaminated but also brings about house explosion. The opponents of the idea argue that even their animals are at risk.
Fracking is also anticipated to cause earth movements like earthquakes, which have always been a great hazard worldwide (Okon 56). It is argued by some group of conservatives that fracking in the region is a result of selfish motives of a small group of people who are forcing their self-interests in the land to take charge instead of considering the general or public interest (Healy).
Fracking leads to water wastages as observed within the region since a large quantity of water is usually injected in the ground. It is the same fluids that can spring back to the surface of the land and cause infertility of the land as some of the chemicals used are very dangerous (Healy).
It is now upon the authorities to make verdict through weighing the diverse conflicting ideas of the occupants within the region so as to avoid regrets due to uninformed judgment.
Bryan, Walsh. Montana’s Indians: yesterday and today. Oregon: Farcountry Press, 1996.Print
Grinnell, George. Blackfeet Indian Stories. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1993.Print
Healy, John. ’’Tapping into the Land, and Dividing Its People.’’ New York Times, 15 August 2012. Web.
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Okon, Obo. Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking): Procedures, Issues, and Benefits. New York: Petroleum Zones, 2013.Print
Rosier, Paul. Rebirth of the Blackfeet Nation, 1912-1954. New York: U of Nebraska Press, 2004.Print