#NoDAPL Protests Inspire Attacks Against Five Other Pipelines


Photo via ShutItDown.Today

Declaring themselves in solidarity with the #NoDAPL protesters fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline in south central North Dakota activists claimed to have shut down five other pipelines in the U.S. today, including one near Walhalla, North Dakota.

A group calling itself “Climate Direct Action” reported online that the actions were taken early Tuesday against Enbridge lines 4 and 67 near Leonard, Minn.; the TransCanada’s Keystone pipeline in Walhalla, N.D.; Spectra Energy’s Express pipeline in Coal Banks Landing, Mont.; and Kinder-Morgan’s Trans-Mountain pipeline at Anacortes, Wash.

The website said the actions were in solidarity with the ongoing protest in North Dakota near the Standing Rock Reservation where Native Americans from dozens of tribes are standing against a pipeline route through what they say is sacred ground.

Environmental activists say Canadian tar sands oil is among the dirtiest, most carbon-intensive oil refined, adding more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and contributing to global climate change.

The protest group reported that by 9:30 a.m. “activists have successfully shut down 5 pipelines across the United States delivering tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada in support of the call for International Days of Prayer and Action for Standing Rock. Activists employed manual safety valves, calling on President Obama to use emergency powers to keep the pipelines closed and mobilize for the extraordinary shift away from fossil fuels now required to avert catastrophe.”

This is getting dangerous.

Taking a look at the website put up by the activists you can see that they broke into pipeline facilities and manually turned off valves. It doesn’t take a dummy to understand that having untrained personnel do that sort of thing could have disastrous consequences.

“The actions taken to unlawfully trespass on our facility, use bolt cutters to cut chains off our valves and then attempt to turn the valves to stop the flow of oil were dangerous and reckless,” Enbridge has said in a statement. According to the most recent reports there have been at least seven people arrested so far.

And who set this fire? President Barack Obama with his utterly political obstruction of first the Keystone XL project and now the Dakota Access line.

This is beginning to look less like activism and more like organized crime.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump got a lot of flak for, during the last debate, suggesting that he’d put his opponent Hillary Clinton in jail if elected. People, rightly, have been worried about what that might mean for Trump’s respect for the rule of the law.

I hope the same people worried about Trump are worried about these mobs of political extremists trying to shut down lawful industry and commerce through vandalism and obstruction. Like it or not, the production and transport of hydrocarbons is legal in this country, and it should be protected.

I would hope that President Barack Obama would condemn these actions in the strongest possible terms, but he probably won’t.