An oil pipeline in Oklahoma faces threats of vandalism from the same kind of radical environmentalists who held up the Dakota Access Pipeline, according to a report from the Department of Homeland Security.
The report suggests the Diamond Pipeline is vulnerable to the kinds of violence and acts of vandalism that helped delay DAPL. The potential is a legitimate concern, even if there are no pending threats to the nearly $1 billion project, according to the DHS 11-page document.
“While the Diamond Pipeline project has not seen the same level of disruption as the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), we are concerned that negative perceptions about enforcement efforts against DAPL opponents could inspire like-minded individuals to seek out reprisal violence against similar targets, including the Diamond Pipeline,” the report reads.
Activists contend that the Diamond Pipeline – like the DAPL – puts watersheds in Arkansas in jeopardy. Many of the anti-DAPL activists used heavy-handed tactics during the months-long protests, including throwing Molotov cocktails and starting fires.
The DHS warning comes a month after federal officials investigated two separate incidents of vandalism in Iowa and South Dakota involving holes torched in sections of the highly contentious DAPL, a project intending on shuttling 500,000 barrels of Bakken oil from the Dakotas to Illinois.
A small hole was burned into the nearly 1,200-mile pipeline in March at an unguarded valve site in South Dakota. Some analysts argue the vandals would have been instantly incinerated had oil been coursing through the line at the time of the torching.
“While most opposition activity related to pipeline construction remains nonviolent and lawful protest activity, some violent extremists may take advantage of lawful gatherings to attempt to threaten, incite, or commit violent acts against public safety officers or facility staff,” the report added.
The company behind the DAPL, Energy Transfer Partners, managed to get a big win last week that could affect pipeline construction in other states. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg allowed the company to hide certain pieces of information about the line to prevent future acts of vandalism.
Boasberg decided on April 13 that the company could hide information pertaining to the so-called DAPL’s leak points at areas along its route. He argued the exception was necessary to prevent possible acts of vandalism in the future.
DHS did not reply to a request for comment.
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