Dakota Access Pipeline To Start Moving Oil Despite Recent ‘Coordinated Attacks’

Environmental activists say they aren’t responsible for recent attacks

By Red Power Media | March 21, 2017

The company building the Dakota Access pipeline remains on track to start moving oil this week despite recent “co-ordinated physical attacks” along the line.

Environmental activists who tried to disrupt oil pipeline operations in four states said Tuesday that they aren’t responsible for any recent attacks on that pipeline.

The remarks came in response to allegations that Texas-based Dakota Access developer Energy Transfer Partners made in court documents late Monday. The company said there have been “recent coordinated physical attacks along the pipeline that pose threats to life, physical safety and the environment,” but did not say who was responsible for those alleged attacks.

Authorities in South Dakota on Tuesday confirmed an incident of vandalism in which someone burned a hole through an empty section of pipe.

South Dakota attorney general’s office spokeswoman Sara Rabern confirmed one incident of what she called “felony vandalism” southeast of Sioux Falls on Friday. Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy Chad Brown said it happened at an above-ground valve site that had no fencing or other security.

Brown said, it was possible the vandalism was done with a blowtorch.

No injuries were reported and no suspects were immediately identified, according to Brown. Local and state officials were investigating and also notified the FBI, he said.

Jay O’Hara with the Climate Disobedience Center told the AP that Climate Direct Action wasn’t involved in any attacks against the pipeline, and he wasn’t aware of anyone claiming responsibility.

In October, Climate Direct Action activists tried to shut valves on pipelines in North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana and Washington to show support for Dakota Access opponents. Other than that, “we have nothing in the works,” O’Hara said.

The Red Warrior Society, a pipeline protest group that advocated aggressive tactics such as confrontations with pipeline security and police in North Dakota last year, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes have battled the $3.8 billion pipeline in court for months, arguing it’s a threat to water and their right to practice their religion.

An appeals court on Saturday refused a request from the tribes for an emergency order to prevent oil from flowing through the pipeline.

The appeals court said the tribes hadn’t met “the stringent requirements” for such an order.

The pipeline runs 1,200 miles through the Dakotas, Iowa and Illinois.

The company is wrapping up pipe work under Lake Oahe and had said oil could start flowing between Monday and Wednesday.

Associated Press