Back in August, the Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now published a post which stated there is never an excuse for arson, in response to an incident which occurred in Jasper County, Iowa.
Sadly, equipment belonging to those constructing the Dakota Access Pipeline were again a target yesterday evening as Jasper County authorities responded to several 911 calls which led them to bulldozers and an excavator on fire.
According to a press release from the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, “Preliminary investigation indicates that fires were intentionally set. The equipment was operated by one of the companies contracted by the Dakota Access Pipeline project. The damage estimate was approximately $2,000,000. This is the same location that equipment was believed to be intentionally set on fire on August 1st, 2016.”
Following the string of attacks against pipeline workers and equipment, the Iowa State Fire Marshall, ATF, and FBI are all investigating the case. Assistant Chief Don Steenhoek, of the Reasnor Fire Department, suspects that opponents of the project are to blame; “(It’s) pretty senseless,” he said. “They’re not getting back at the pipeline. They’re just hurting the guys trying to make a living and put it in.” Chris Merten, who owns the property where the fire burned, said he’s frustrated because it’s the second fire in three months.
Opponents of the project in Iowa again have failed to condemn the attack and continue to violate private property for anti-Dakota Access demonstrations. There are no excuses for these behaviors. Arson, trespassing, and other non-lawful acts should not be tolerated by the law abiding people of Iowa.