One of the environmentalists behind opposition to a Texas oil pipeline said she would oppose the project even if regulators deemed it environmentally safe.
“It doesn’t even matter whether the pipeline is dangerous or not dangerous or any of that,” activist Lori Glover said about the Trans-Pecos Pipeline, adding that in some ways the safety of the line is irrelevant.
“[D]o we have the right to define our own community. If we don’t want it, we don’t want it,” she said in a video obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation. Her comments come as environmentalists continue to fight against controversial projects like the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines.
Glover, the co-chair of the Sierra Club in Big Bend and founder of Defend Big Bend, was recently charged with felony criminal mischief and criminal trespassing. She was also arrested at a December protest resulting in a misdemeanor trespass charge.
Demonstrators are using tactics that initially scuttled the so-called DAPL pipeline in North Dakota on Trans-Pecos — in particular, they are setting up campsites near the project’s construction site and planning nonviolent “direct actions” against those building it.
All of their work defeating the DAPl will probably be for naught, especially after President Donald Trump approved Tuesday construction on the previously rejected project, which is expected to deliver nearly 500,000 barrels of Bakken oil per day to Illinois.
Trump’s executive order resets the Army Corps of Engineer’s initial decision approving the pipeline. It would also allow the administration to rescind the Obama administration’s request to have a years-long environmental impact assessment conducted on the DAPL.
Protests against the Trans-Pecos pipeline, a 148-mile project transporting natural gas through the Big Bend region in Texas to Mexico, have attracted several dozen activists since it first began in December.
Big Bend Conservation Alliance, one of Glover’s groups, worries the project could “open the door to additional industrial infrastructure and destroy the pristine nature of the region.” Its members also want the government to conduct an environmental assessment to ensure the Trans-Pecos line won’t pollute the Rio Grande River or other watersheds.
Conservative analysts are not amused by Glover’s frank admission.
Jeremy Adler, communications director for Republican group American Rising Squared, for one, told TheDCNF Glover’s position shows that environmentalists are unconcerned with the kinds of jobs natural gas produces.
“These protestors are so wedded to their extreme ideology that they openly reject the overwhelming scientific evidence about the safety of pipelines,” he said.
Research shows that pipelines in Canada are a safer way to transport oil than truck or train. Oil leaks from pipelines are safer than leaks created by train derailment and truck wrecks, namely because of the difference in safety measures, according to a study conducted in 2015 by the Fraser Institute, a think tank in Canada.
Moving oil and gas by pipeline in Canada, the researchers noted, was 4.5 times safer between 2003-2013, than moving the same volume the same distance by rail.
TheDCNF reached out to Glover and her group, the Sierra Club, for comment but has yet to receive a reply.
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