The next radical environmental tactic is now evident for eyes to see: block all infrastructure projects—especially oil and gas pipelines—with criminal trespass and obstruction. Having killed the Keystone pipeline (only temporarily, now that Trump is going to approve it once he takes office), the red-greenies are trying to stop the Dakota Access pipeline that has received all of its regulatory permits.
Naturally environmentalists have to lie about the whole matter, whipping up claims that sacred native American grounds are being harmed by the pipeline, or that groundwater is at risk. (The first claim reminds me of a joke I heard in Australia 30 years ago: how do know when you’ve found sacred Aboriginal grounds? When you find uranium or other valuable minerals underneath.) Naturally the usual Hollywood idiots show up to join the war whoop.
Shawn McCoy reports in the Orlando Sentinel on the distortions and lies of the pipeline opponents:
The activists tell an emotionally charged tale of greed, racism and misbehavior by corporate and government officials. But the real story of the Dakota Access Pipeline was revealed in court documents in September, and it is nothing like the activists’ tale. In fact, it is the complete opposite.
The record shows that Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the pipeline, spent years working diligently with federal, state and local officials to route the pipeline safely and with the fewest possible disruptions. The contrast between the protesters’ claims and the facts on record is stunning.
Protesters claim that the pipeline was “fast-tracked,” denying tribal leaders the opportunity to participate in the process. In fact, project leaders participated in 559 meetings with community leaders, local officials and organizations to listen to concerns and fine-tune the route. The company asked for, and received, a tougher federal permitting process at sites along the Missouri River. This more difficult procedure included a mandated review of each water crossing’s potential effect on historical artifacts and locations.
Protesters claim that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to consult tribal leaders as required by federal law. The record shows that the corps held 389 meetings with 55 tribes. Corps officials met numerous times with leaders of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, which initiated the lawsuit and the protests.
There’s more in the complete story, but you get the point. Expect more of this as the Trump policy of infrastructure development goes forward. The political effect of these lawless attempts to block progress will likely help Trump get re-elected in four years.
Meanwhile, for another glimpse of the by-any-means-necessary approach of environmentalists, take in this item from the Institute for Justice’s weekly Short Circuit digest of notable appeals court rulings:
In 1949, the federal government deeded large parcels in eastern Ohio to the state’s care on the condition that the land be used for flood control, conservation, and recreation. Recently, Ohio officials allowed fracking on the land. So must it revert back to federal ownership, as anti-fracking activists who discovered the deed restriction claim? No, says two-thirds of a Sixth Circuit panel.