Recent reports that anti-energy development activists have used blowtorches to damage the Dakota Access Pipeline are absolutely unacceptable for a project that underwent a nearly two year review process that resulted in a lawful approval by four states as well as the federal government.
The incidences, which were characterized as “felony vandalism” by the South Dakota attorney general’s office, broadens the scope of actions taken against the pipeline company since protests in North Dakota were shut down by state authorities following increasing violence and lawlessness. Similarly, in Iowa, Mahaska County Sheriff Russ Van Renterghem told the Des Moines Register that a similar attack took place south of Des Moines earlier this month.
What is especially frightening is that the damage to the pipe could have resulted in an even larger incident if the oil inside was ignited – likely killing the individuals who were attempting to do harm to the project.
Police departments from the state, county, and local levels are investigating the incidents – underscoring the importance of increased security around this and other projects from criminals who wish to do harm to America’s infrastructure network.