As the Dakota Access Pipeline faces a lawsuit here in North Dakota orchestrated by an extreme anti-oil group, in Iowa a work site for the project was apparently attacked by arsonists.
In New Sharon law enforcement and fire officials say that over a million dollars worth of equipment was sent afire on purpose, which seems a likely explanation given that fire broke out at three separate work sites at once.
Video report below. Here’s an excerpt from the story:
NEW SHARON, Iowa — Fire ripped through three separate job site locations causing millions in damages along the Dakota Access` Bakken oil pipeline early Sunday and Monday morning near the cities of New Sharon, Newton, and Reasnor.
“It appears that all evidence says these vehicles were intentionally set on fire and we’re calling it an arson at this point,” said Jasper County Chief Deputy Duane Rozendaal.
The first in Mahaska County proved to be most costly, approaching $1.5 million in damages to multiple pieces of equipment.
“Initially, we thought we had three and as we were working to take care of these three, my third trucker noticed a fire to the south of us and that’s when we found we had a fourth one,” said New Sharon Fire Chief Steve Gerard.
Apparently local officials believe the motivation was the controversial nature of the Dakota Access pipepline. “Investigators believe someone could be targeting equipment designed to build the controversial pipeline which would carry nearly 500,000 gallons of crude oil per day across land in 18 Iowa counties,” WHOTV reports.
The Dakota Access line would begin in Stanley, North Dakota, and run south through multiple states until reaching an oil transportation hub in Illinois. It’s a very important project for North Dakota’s oil fields, which are at something of a disadvantage compared to other U.S. oil plays because of high transportation costs. Pipelines like Dakota Access help push down those costs making North Dakota’s oil development more resilient to lower prices.