Eco-terrorists in four states were arrested Tuesday for attempting to sabotage Canadian and U.S. oil pipelines in an effort to show solidarity with the Dakota protesters.
Climate Direct Action said their actions were in support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, who argue that the $3.8 billion North Dakota pipeline would trample on venerated tribal lands and destroy artifacts.
Activists with the group were caught trespassing in Minnesota and forced the shutdown of several pipelines using bolt cutters. TransCanada’s Keystone pipeline in North Dakota was also impacted by activists near that location. Spectra Energy’s Express pipeline in Coal Banks, Mo. were closed as well.
The four pipelines supply more than 2.5 million barrels of oil per day of crude oil to U.S. refineries.
Climate Direct Action researched how to safely shutdown the pipelines, according to Afrin Sopariwala, a spokeswoman for the group. “We are acting in response to this catastrophe we are facing,” Sopariwala said, referring to global warming, as well as to the fight against the oil pipeline in North Dakota.
The energy industry considers Sopariwala’s actions an act of terrorism.
American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) President Chet Thompson said the eco-terrorists were a danger and a menace to themselves and anyone connected to them. AFPM represents more than 95 percent of the oil and gas transportation industry.
“Criminal trespassing, destruction of property, and the creation of potentially unsafe conditions, are not proper forms of protests,” Thompson said in a press statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation Wednesday.
“The belief and politics of a few eco-terrorists do not supersede the rights of millions of consumers who could face increased costs because of reduced supplies of energy,” he added.
Climate Direct Action’s protesters were no doubt influenced by the recent success of the Standing Rock Sioux’s campaign to halt the construction of the nearly 1,200-mile long Dakota oil pipeline, a project directed by Energy Transfer Partners LP.
Construction of one section in North Dakota stalled in response to the concerns of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and is under review. Work on the pipeline is nearly 70 percent completed.
The group’s orchestrated sabotage came a day after 27 arrests were made Monday at a Dakota Access Pipeline construction site in North Dakota, the highest total since protesters began their activity two months ago. Law enforcement officials said the rally looked more like a riot than a peaceful assembly of protesters.
Mercer County, North Dakota, Sheriff Dean Danzeisen claimed in an Oct. 7 letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch that protesters are “armed, hostile, and engaged in training exercises” meant to “promote violence.”
Federal officials are still refusing to evict those hunkered down at an anti-pipeline encampment near the hotly contested pipeline, which will carry nearly 700, 000 barrels of oil across the country. Officials believe booting the protesters would harm free speech rights, despite the fact that the land is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
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