Notably It Is Not a “Safe” Pipeline Day of Action but a “No” Pipeline Day of Action


In the Grand Forks Herald today is an article about the environmental extremists organizing the Dakota Access Pipeline protests looking nationalize their opposition with a “day of action.”

Senator and erstwhile candidate for President Bernie Sanders will apparently rally with protesters in Washington D.C.

Notably, this is not a safe pipeline day of action but rather a no pipeline day of action.

That’s an important distinction which often gets lost in the media coverage of these protests. The activists behind them don’t want a safe pipeline built in a manner that respects the land and whatever historic sites or cultural artifacts might be along its route. They want no pipeline at all. Because no pipelines, they think, means the oil will stay in the ground.

The former is a reasonable position. The latter position is extremism.

Meanwhile, the Grand Forks Herald editorial board points out today that many of the arguments put forward by the tribe are not credible any more in light of federal Judge James Boasberg’s ruling last week:

…while activists may claim that the Standing Rock tribe wasn’t consulted about the pipeline and that the construction will harm historic cultural ground, their claims no longer should be believed. That’s because Boasberg—an Obama appointee—weighed those claims for weeks in the light of the evidence. Then he pronounced them to be false.

Any reading of the 58-page ruling will agree with this conclusion. Boasberg took care that it should be so. He acknowledges the long and strained relationship between tribal governments and the United States: “The tragic history of the Great Sioux Nation’s repeated dispossessions at the hands of a hungry and expanding early America is well known,” he writes. “The threat that new injury will compound old necessarily compels great caution and respect from this Court in considering the Tribe’s plea for intervention.”

So, Boasberg takes care in laying out the details of the arguments. In particular, he documents and considers the letters, memos, records and testimonies that were submitted into evidence.

He concludes that the Army Corps is right, and the Standing Rock Tribe and its supporters are wrong.

This is a point I made yesterday.

The protesters claim that the Standing Rock Sioux tribe wasn’t sufficiently consulted about the pipeline. But Boasberg found that the pipeline company sought to work with the tribe dozens of times starting in 2014. “Suffice it to say that the Tribe largely refused to engage in consultations,” he wrote.

The protesters claim that the Dakota Access Pipeline would destroy culturally significant artifacts, but Boasberg notes that there is already a natural gas pipeline and power lines through that area, each of which were constructed after extensive archaeological reviews.

These arguments, the Herald concludes, should now be rejected as false. “They’ve been entered into evidence. They’ve been considered by a federal judge. And they’ve been declared legally and factually wrong,” the paper writes.