Not only is the Dakota Area Pipeline a point of contention with environmentalists, now Gang Green is starting to take an increasing interest in opposing other new pipelines as well. The Houston Chronicle reveals that since the coal industry has nearly faded away, environmentalists groups have made pipelines their new public enemy number one.
After years of focusing on the now fading coal industry, environmentalists are targeting pipelines as the new public enemy number one – a strategy that has implications for Houston, home to several major pipeline companies employing some 10,000 people. With the “keep it the ground” movement gaining support, the focus of efforts to slow the extraction of oil and gas has increasingly become pipelines that move the fuels to processing plants and consumers.
Protests, demonstrations and civil disobedience aimed at pipelines have spread from New England to Texas to California. In the Midwest, protesters from across the country have joined the Standing Rock Sioux to block the Dakota Access pipeline that would carry crude from North Dakota shale fields to Illinois. From there, the oil can be piped to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast.
Richard Kinder of Kinder Morgan was interviewed in which he told the Chronicle that pipeline protests have increased but infrastructure can still be built. Sadly, the company had to scrap plans to build a pipeline from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale to the Boston vicinity due to environmentalist opposition. The Chronicle also highlighted the efforts of a small group of anti-pipeline environmentalists who cut through a chain link fence protecting shut off valves for a pipeline located in western Minnesota, turned the valves to shut off the flow of oil only later to be arrested by police.
Environmentalists claim that increased use of pipelines will encourage demand for fossil fuels which, in turn, contributes to man-made climate change. In reality, if pipelines are not an option, transportation of oil is conducted by water, truck, or train. These modes of transportation not only result in more carbon emissions but also the increased likelihood of accidents. When more pollution results, the media reports this and then environmentalists use such press coverage to condemn oil companies while making the case for more controls and other regulations that make transportation more difficult. Stricter oil transport method rules restricts not only the flow of fossil fuels but ratchets up the price in an attempt to discourage their use.
Last year Environmentalists from New York and Vermont released their findings based on research they did on the transport of tar sands oil by rail. NBC affiliate WPTZ out of New York reported that the study detailed the potential risks of transporting tar sands oil through the Adirondack and Champlain Valley regions with millions of gallons of oil being transported along Lake Champlain’s western banks. No indication, however, if any action was taken to do as the environmentalists suggested.
Environmentalists are not concerned about global warming or even the environment because what they ultimately want is political control over us and our way of life. Organizations like Center for Biological Diversity and National Wildlife Federation oppose construction of pipelines because it not only gives them more political ammunition with other transportation methods for oil but also the fact that environmentalists are anti-progress and anti-civilization.