LA. Pipeline Protesters Live in Bayou Trees

The Bayou Bridge Pipeline, a major crude oil pipeline under construction in southern Louisiana, is almost completed. But, despite approval and assurances of safety by state regulators, environmentalists allege the pipeline is a danger to the Atchafalaya Basin.

Some environmentalists are so passionate in their opposition to the pipeline that they are living in trees in a section of the Louisiana bayou that is in the path of where the edifice is to be built in hopes of obstructing it. A reporter with The Daily Caller approached the encampment and interviewed one of the activists involved who went by Babyface. From the article:

It appeared the camp had been established there for at least a few days — Babyface wouldn’t tell TheDCNF how long he’d been there. Several flags that called for the end of Bayou Bridge were hanging in nearby trees. Tents were packed with clothes and food, water jugs were scattered on the ground. Notably, the campers were using a plastic tea jug to collect their urine. It also appeared the protesters passed the time by reading teenage fan-fiction — several “Twilight” novels were lying around.

“We’re working to stop them from constructing the pipeline,” Babyface explained.

None of it appeared to faze Babyface, a man who was wearing a bright red dress with snake boots. He was there for a cause: to stop the completion of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline. Numerous protesters just like him have been camping in the Atchafalaya Basin for months in their attempt to prevent work on the pipeline. A predominant strategy of the protesters is to physically stand in the way of construction, forcing employees to stop until law enforcement is able to forcibly move them out of harm’s way.

This was Babyface’s motive when TheDCNF discovered him. He was not excited about seeing media and was very hesitant to speak at all.

“All I can say really is that there is a lifeline and it holds someone’s life in its hands so nobody better cut it,” he said, pointing to two makeshift treehouses above him that he claimed his companions were living in. The purpose of the treehouses, one of them is pictured below, was a tried-and-true method of pipeline protesters: remain in a tree that sits along the construction path in order to prevent pipeline workers from cutting it down, thus slowing its completion.

The pipeline is nearly 90 percent complete and when it is finished is an extension of one already in place from Nederland, Texas to Lake Charles, Louisiana. Once done, the pipeline will be able to carry almost 500,000 barrels of oil daily. Environmentalists claim the Atchafalaya Basin is too sensitive for such construction, and a variety of green organizations have conducted legal actions to prevent The Bayou Bridge Pipeline from continuing.

In terms of the bayou tree house protesters, at some point police will be called in to forcibly remove them. None the less, despite Babyface’s allegation that he is conducting his obstruction to help save human life, it is exactly the opposite. Without access to energy sources, like sweet crude oil, we in the West would not have the civilization and the luxuries that come with it.
The swap is an appropriate setting for Babyface and his ilk since that is the kind of conditions, not only that he would rather live in, but other human beings as well.