Protesters rallied at the State Capitol in Denver last night in solidarity with the lawsuit and violent protests by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and environmentalists against the Dakota Access pipeline. The Standing Rock Sioux claim the pipeline will “disturb sacred sites” and its passage under the Missouri River will imperil their drinking water. In addition to the above-linked article about the rally, the Denver Post published an Associated Press “explainer” purporting to tell us what we need to know about the pipeline and the protests. But that “explainer” omitted some information critical to putting the claims of the protesters into perspective.
Rob Port of the Say Anything blog actually read through the 1206-page report on which the Corps of Engineers based their approval of the Dakota Access pipeline. He learned something interesting from a graphic on page 1008 (emphasis added):
Before reading this report I had no idea there was another pipeline already running through this area, but there is. It’s called the Northern Border Pipeline. It’s a natural gas line built all the way back in 1982, and the Dakota Access Pipeline follows it often, including through the areas currently being disputed by protesters.
This is no mere coincidence. I spoke with Justin Kringstad at the ND Pipeline Authority who told me that the Dakota Access line “generally follows the same corridor” as the Northern Border line, and that this sort of thing is “not uncommon.” It can be easier to get easements and regulatory approval for a pipeline built where another pipeline has already gone through.
Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak also told me that the Dakota Access line “tried to follow wherever possible the Northern Border pipeline.”
The two routes aren’t exact, but through the area where pipeline construction has sparked violent protests the two lines run side by side according to Energy Transfer Partners.
Digging into the history of the Northern Border pipeline’s approval, Port learned that the Standing Rock Sioux, who now claim that the new pipeline will “disturb sacred sites,” had no such objection (in fact, no objection of any kind) to the building of the Northern Border pipeline along the same route.
The attempts to stop the Dakota Access pipeline aren’t really about sacred lands or water quality; those are just cover stories. This is just another battle in the leftist/environmentalist war on fossil fuels (and thus on affordable energy and economic growth).
This is another example of a blogger doing what the journalists reporting the story failed to do: dig into the facts to determine how credible the claims they’re reporting are. Most journalists today can’t be bothered with that, except maybe for whatever Trump says. Certainly not for whatever claims their environmentalist and leftist allies make. Those are simply accepted without question. These aren’t real journalists, they’re just leftist/environmentalist PR flacks.