Energy Spokeswoman: Pipeline Protests Aren’t Very Effective

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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter
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Construction of Louisiana’s Bayou Bridge Pipeline continues apace, despite unrelenting attempts from anti-pipeline protesters to halt progress.

The Bayou Bridge Pipeline — a 163-mile pipeline that will extend across southern Louisiana and deliver up to 480,000 barrels of crude oil a day — is expected to be completed in October. Like so many other pipelines constructed across the country, Bayou Bridge has attracted high levels of protests — even vandalism — from environmentalists.

Many of these pipeline protesters have vowed to do whatever it takes to slow progress, resorting to extreme tactics such as destroying equipment and tying themselves to heavyweight barrels inside construction sites.

Despite facing such environmental fanaticism, Transfer Energy Partners, the operators of Bayou Bridge, says these actions really haven’t done much to slow construction.

“We have been pleased with the pace of our construction overall,” Transfer Energy Partners spokeswoman Alexis Daniel told The Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement. “The tactics of the opposition to stop or delay construction, while they are unlawful and a nuisance, don’t typically stop work for more than a couple of hours at most.”

While Bayou Bridge hasn’t generated the same level of news coverage like Keystone XL or Dakota Access — two very high-profile pipelines — this Louisiana project has been subjected to vandalism and extreme tacts for months.

Activists temporarily halted construction in February by standing in the way of machinery, with some sitting on a pipe and others walking near backhoes. A group of protesters in April blocked access to an industrial yard near Lake Charles, Louisiana for over three hours — leaving five truck drivers trapped inside.

Two of those protesters were dressed as crawfish and chained themselves to cement-filled barrels. Police had to physically push the barrels aside to let the trucks get through. Several environmentalists in May were ticketed and kicked out for trespassing on private property and meddling with equipment. These protesters initially lied to law enforcement, claiming they had the property owner’s permission to be there.

The summer heat hasn’t appeared to slow the protests down.

Four activists were arrested on June 3 for attaching themselves to pipeline equipment. Police were not able to quickly apprehend one protester who was attached to a piece of equipment with the help of a lockbox. By being attached to the lockbox, the protester was hoping police would be forced to destroy equipment in order to be safely detached. (RELATED: A Pipeline Is Nearing Completion And Enviros Couldn’t Be More Bummed)

However, most of these tactics have worked to no avail.

“Outside of the small group of protestors, who are often not local to the area, there is overwhelming support for Louisiana’s energy industry and our pipeline project,” Daniel said. “We are hearing this from local homeowners along the right-of-way, area businesses and various other stakeholders. We find it troubling that protestors are willing to stop these highly-skilled construction workers from earning a wage in order to further their narrative, no matter the truth behind some of their messages.”

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