Oklahoma Tribes Lose Environmental Control of Their Lands

Happy Indigenous Peoples’ Day or, as many racists still like to call it, Columbus Day!

While many of us Natives will be honoring this day with a time of deep reflection, mostly to show the world our steadfast resiliency in the face of over 500 years of settler oppression, Governor Stitt and his crew of cornpone lackeys are celebrating a recent win in his ridiculous on-going war over the tribes of Oklahoma,

Last week, in keeping with Oklahoma’s long traditions of cheating, stealing and murdering the tribes that have historically lived here or were forcefully moved here, the Environmental Protection Agency granted Oklahoma regulatory control over all environmental issues on tribal lands, stripping around 38 tribes of their sovereignty.

From The Young Turks:

The EPA has now granted the State of Oklahoma the same authority it had before McGirt on environmental issues, especially on petroleum. It can do this because federal legislation can nullify Supreme Court rulings. In 2005, a midnight rider attached to a transportation bill took away environmental regulatory control by Oklahoma tribes if requested by the state as it has now done. The Oklahoma state government is pro-fossil fuel and pro-big agribusiness.

Even though the Tribes have continually tried to keep their lands free from governmental control—the same government that currently believes climate change is a lie concocted by a 17-year-old Satanic Swede—sadly, the only thing that really matters in Oklahoma is oil and Stitt is absolutely willing to furiously masturbate his deep-seated hatred against Indigenous peoples just to get a couple of bucks worth.

With this new ruling, the state government now has the right to start and maintain fracking operations at will, as well as dump hazardous wastes and byproducts of petroleum on the land. And don’t forget all the urine and feces from livestock operations that’ll now get dumped into bodies of their water. I know there are plenty of places around that still haven’t.

Environmental Ambassador, Elder and Hereditary Drumkeeper of the Ponca Tribe Casey Camp-Horinek said it best in this fiery response:

“After over 500 years of oppression, lies, genocide, ecocide, and broken treaties, we should have expected the EPA ruling in favor of racist Governor Stitt of Oklahoma, yet it still stings. Under the Trump administration, destroying all environmental protection has been ramped up to give the fossil fuel industry life support as it takes its last dying breath. Who suffers the results? Everyone and everything! Who benefits? Trump and his cronies, climate change deniers like Governor Stitt, Senators Inhofe and Langford, who are financially supported by big oil and gas. I am convinced that we must fight back against this underhanded ruling. In the courts, on the frontlines and in the international courts, LIFE itself is at stake.”

As of this writing, Attorney General Peter Griffin William Barr is working with other Republican officials to nullify the landmark McGirt vs. Oklahoma decision, visibly aroused by this recent blow. However, with about a month until the next election, hopefully they won’t get the chance.


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23 Responses

  1. If it weren’t for oil and natural gas, Oklahoma wouldn’t have a pot to piss in. But at least you greenies would have electricity as long as the sun was shining and/or the wind was blowing.

    1. Considering it’s Oklahoma, lots of sun and lots of wind are pretty much a given.

    2. Actually, if it wasn’t for oil and gas we would probably have a healthy, diversified economy today as other states do. Instead we are Top Ten in everything bad, with our state budgets subject to the entirely predictable boom-and-bust cycles of the oil bidness.

      The State of Oklahoma started its life with vast mineral wealth under our feet. Today we are one of America’s poorest states. How did it turn out like this? Where did all that money go? All that irreplaceable wealth has been pumped out, and what do we have to show for it today? Damn little.

      Guess we pissed away our birthright. Like some dumb kid with a rich daddy, we never learned how to make it on our own.

      Oil and gas interests have run Oklahoma from the git-go. For over 100 years, we have seldom given a thought to the future. We only thought about keeping taxes low with our oil money and keeping our oil barons (rich daddies) happy.

      There has always been a finite amount of oil and gas down there for us to exploit, and producing it gets harder and harder each year. But the sun will always shine and the wind will always blow.

      1. yep, hick oilies and the despicable gaylords been holding this state back for over a century.

    3. Maybe no pot to piss in, you misogynistic twit, but we would have a few more aquifers that hadn’t been ruined for all time.

    4. Sun shining and wind blowing = electricity? Kind of negates your arguments doesn’t it?

  2. Contrast the way Oklahoma chose to “distribute” its mineral resources (ie, the corporations get the money) and the way Norway insisted that the State (I know, what a nasty word—THE STATE!!!!) have a great deal of control over the wealth generated by North Sea oil.

    I’d be willing to bet $1000 if you asked a thousand Norwegians, “Would you want to move to Oklahoma if you were guaranteed the exact same take-home pay you have in Norway?” less than 1% would do it, for reasons that ought to be obvious.

    And to be fair, probably a very small percentage of Oklahomans would choose to move to Norway, but it’d be a much BIGGER percentage than vice versa. Why? Well you know—a strong social safety net, quality of living, and weird things like that KIND OF MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE.

    Meantime for the Native people, it’s business as it’s always been, business as usual.

    Which is to say, “BIDNESS ÜBER ALLES.” With a wink-wink, nudge-nudge and a whispered SIEG HEIL every now and then on the part of them what controls stuff.

    1. First, Oklahoma doesn’t “choose to distribute” its mineral resources. The resources located on or under private property are owned by the property owners. I realize how much you detest private property rights but, nevertheless, the O&G under my ground belongs to me. The state regulates the way it’s removed and taxes the results, but it still belongs to me. I’m taxed when it comes out of the ground and I’m taxed when I’m paid for it and have to claim it as income, and I’m taxed again when I spend it.
      Norway has a homogeneous population of 5.43 million, putting it approx. = to the state of Minnesota and ranking it around 24th, when compared to US state populations. Its entire O&G reserves lie under the North Sea, in an area claimed by Norway, akin to lying under public lands in the US. With its minuscule population, compared to the US, each Norwegian is able to benefit from the public resources.
      As far as moving to Norway? I suggest you take a look at Norwegian immigration law. For non-EU citizens, there are strenuous work requirements and you’re required to show a level of Norwegian social understanding and speak Norwegian! (WTF! Isn’t that racist?!) In other words, if you show up and just try and bum-rush the border, they throw your ass out. WTH! We have immigrants swimming the Rio Grand, daily. Maybe the Norwegians can take some of them?
      So in reality, your comparison is, not really a comparison.

      1. Very thorough response. thank you for the comparison .

      2. Well, the O & G under your ground may indeed belong to you, you lucky fella, but they are very often owned by someone else other than the property owner. Those property owners often see their land despoiled so that we can get at that ever diminishing stuff.
        But it sounds like a hard row to hoe for you, having to pay all those taxes for a resource under the ground that you just happened to be on top of.
        Hard, hard world.

        1. If I choose to sell my royalty, I’m paid for it. It’s my choice to sell or not. If I choose to buy property with surface rights only, I know up front and the price is commensurate. If my property is “despoiled”, the property owner is paid surface damages by the exploration company. Most of the time, the land is returned to a reasonable state, often not pristine, but the compensation makes up for that. They also do things like pay for water and water storage as well as easements for pipelines. For me personally, most of the land I currently own was purchased by my relatives from the native owners and a freedman and his native wife, because they didn’t think it was good for much. They took out a loan and struggled to pay it off for 30 years, a lot of times going back for a 2nd mortgage to pay for a wheat crop that didn’t make it or some cattle to try and get through to the next season. They (and me, as a teen) worked it and scratched out a living until someone figured out that there was something under it. So lucky? Yeah, maybe. But it’s amazing how lucky you get when you’re working your ass off .

          1. Oklahoma did indeed “choose to distribute” its oil wealth – or rather chose not to. The “royalty interest” (that’s what we call it) belongs to the lucky duck who pitched his tent on the right parcel of stolen Indian land. (That’s the kind of “private property rights” of which
            vonH is so fond.)

            One of the ideas behind a severance tax / gross production tax is to share a sliver of the state’s finite mineral wealth with all the state’s citizenship. Creeping socialism?

            What difference does it make that Norway’s population is “homogeneous”?

            1. Yes, private property is repugnant to you and really throws a wrench in a socialist system that you base on envy, jealousy and greed. As far as stolen land, you probably need to take that up with the US Govt, as I said, my ancestors bought theirs from native owners and freedmen. Either way, I’m pretty sure they ain’t giving it back. As an Irish American, I can give you another lesson in historical land rights and conquered peoples. I could probably make a strong argument that the current arrangement for natives is really about the best possible outcome they could’ve hoped for, but I feel it would be wasted on you.
              There is no such thing as the “state’s finite mineral wealth” unless it’s on or under state or federal property, the state has no right to it. None.
              In a homogeneous society, the overall views and goals of the citizenry are more closely aligned than in those that have a larger, more diverse ethnic, religious and social makeup. A small, Nordic country is, in no way comparable, to a country like the US or even a state like Oklahoma.

          2. Maybe you’re lucky?
            A whole lot of people in this state have worked their asses off but didn’t have forbears or relatives that obtained mineral rights from native peoples, who may have been forced to sell because of their circumstances. There are a thousands of people within a few counties of you that worked every bit as hard as you have, but found the cards stacked against them. But you were astute enough to be born to the right people. You are truly a self-made man.
            This has been informative for me. Now I understand why you, vonH, are such a staunch defender of the American Way and all that is Good and Holy in this world, against the tide of lazy usurpers like Louis and his ilk. You’ve earned every bit of your good fortune. Luck, and the ability to own land, the right to vote (denied to so many until sometime in my pre-teen years), the ability to obtain loans, the right to equal educational opportunities, etc, etc, etc, have had nothing to do with your commendable success. You are a model for us all.

            1. And that second mortgage your parents got? How many black farmers do you think could have obtained such a thing? That shit is still happening, even now.
              Luck runs through your veins, Mister. Prattle on about your Irish ancestors and the oppression they suffered. Have you or your parents ever been denied the right to vote within the last 50 years? Did your tax dollars ever help build facilities like public swimming pools that you yourself were banned from using? You ever had crowds of spitting, screaming adults follow you to school, because you dared to go to the wrong school?
              But you have to pay multiple taxes on your oil wealth. Poor, poor, poor you.

      3. Believe it or not, I know how it works to emigrate to an EU country, because I have actually done it, successfully, after first having lived in Oklahoma for 38 years.

        My statement was not intended to be, “Could an Okie move to Norway? Is such a thing even possible?” but WOULD THEY IF THEY COULD, after seeing the differences between the two places? My bettin’ money would be on a YES, many would.

        Europe is not perfect, nor is any other place. But this idea, so prevalent in the US of, “I got mine, and FUCK you if you didn’t!” is sickening. “I’ll cash my royalty checks and um, meantime, if you can’t afford $200 for a doctor’s visit when you get pregnant, well, then, tough shit! Hope the baby don’t come out all deformed, and what-not!” is frankly pretty astonishing.

        Nothing wrong with having money, but having money while people around you lose their homes and can’t feed their kids or afford daycare or medical attention, because paying 25-30% of your income in taxes offends you somehow?

        Something ain’t right with that-there pitcher.

        Just so’s you know, my income is less than $35K a year. Would I pay 25-30% of that in tax? Without a second thought. So the whining of rich guys who think paying $750 a year in tax is egregious falls on deaf hears with this-here “socialist.”

        My attitude is: cough it up, and keep coughing until I tell you to stop. That bit of luck you had with that pool of “black gold” underneath your property? You’re a-gonna be sharin’ that, boy, cause you ain’t the only person on this-here planet whose a-needin’ some help. Let’s do like we was taught in the Bibble by Jeezuz, and share amongst ourselves.

        1. Auntie is surprised you were able to curse from an EU country on the interwebs. I’d be expecting some boys in blue showing up with a fine any moment now. Stay safe out there, Skiffy.

          1. You might be surprised to learn that such language is not only allowed, but common on normal broadcast TV.

            Also, sometimes they show bare breasts.

            Nobody cares.

      4. So then, since property rights are that important, why didn’t the State of Oklahoma demonstrate it by*buying* the mineral property rights of the Indian tribes instead of having a convenient person make a decree?

  3. Private property is not repugnant to me. In fact, I own some of it myself. Wouldn’t have it any other way. So stop with your over-the-top nonsense.

    What is repugnant to me is the idea that little if any property should be owned collectively.. Privatize the schools, privatize the national parks, sell off public lands, privatize the Postal Service, sell the turnpikes, privatize the grand river dam authority…

    But it’s not about me. It’s about stupid libertarianism. Please spare us from that insanity.

  4. Okay, folks, diatribes aside. If the pro petroleum group is fiercely defending fossil fuel then perhaps they should ask their cousins in West Virginia for some pointers in maintaining both energy dominance and profitability. Whilst we bicker the world moves on.

  5. If you want to see how concerned natives are about the environment, drive through any native reservation.

    1. Nice comment, racist.
      And if you want to see how much whites care about the environment, look at… *gestures at everything*

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