Despite the fact that two different courts have settled the matter in terms of the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, we’ve been keeping an eye on the ongoing protests. There’s been more than free speech taking place near the disputed stretch of land where the crews are currently working and previous incidents of violence have had the local authorities on edge. But now they’ve got a new problem to be concerned with. Someone has set fire to several pieces of construction equipment and the damage is in seven figures. (Reuters)
Dakota Access LLC, operator of the controversial pipeline carrying oil from North Dakota to the U.S. Gulf Coast, said on Monday that construction equipment burned by unknown individuals over the weekend cost millions of dollars.
Authorities suspect arson in the fire, which took place in Reasnor, Iowa, along the construction of the pipeline route, according to an AP report.
Fox News interviewed the local Sheriff’s deputies and obtained some additional details. The gear they’re talking about here doesn’t come cheap.
The Jasper County Sheriff’s Office says the blaze late Saturday near Reasnor, Iowa, caused about $2 million damage to an excavator and three bulldozers. The equipment is operated by a contractor for Dakota Access, a subsidiary of Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners.
Opponents have for months been protesting the $3.8 billion, nearly 1,200-mile project pipeline, warning its construction could jeopardize water supply and damage cultural artifacts.
Thus far there have been no arrests. One might assume that the authorities are already checking out the camps of the protesters, but which group? As we discussed previously, there are two different sets of protesters. One is composed of the representatives of the tribes and they have largely been peaceful and lawful. The other are imports from the radical environmental movement, including those who oppose all fossil fuels. We’ll have to wait for a full investigation, but which of those groups do you suppose decided to torch the site?
Thus far, federal authorities have declined to clear out the camps of the latter group even though they are on federal land. This is a decision which seems to be coming from Washington rather than the Nebraska field office. With the demonstrations going from chanting to physical attacks and now multi-million dollar incidents of arson, will that decision change?