Key points about the Dakota pipeline you probably never heard
There was a surprisingly amount of energy truth contained in a November Washington Post editorial about the Dakota pipeline protests:
How did the out-of-state activists protesting the Dakota Access oil pipeline arrive at the North Dakota site? How were the sleeping bags they will use when the high plains winter arrives manufactured and shipped to the stores at which they were purchased? What are the plastics made of in the phones they have been using at Standing Rock, N.D.?
The Post spoke truth to passion by explaining that oil is “energy dense and easy to transport” and “[p]ractically nothing modern Americans do — including protesting an oil pipeline — would be possible without it.”
How about the fact that “the pipeline would not be built on reservation land and follows the route of an existing gas line,” did most media coverage convey those rather important points?
A significant number of those protesting Dakota Access are doing so because they feel the project has infringed on the rights of local tribes. Federal courts and the Obama administration are in the process of sorting that out, though the fact that the pipeline would not be built on reservation land and follows the route of an existing gas line undercuts their case.
Even more truth:
If anti-pipeline activism has much impact on the global oil equation, it is to promote short-term volatility in the oil market, making it marginally more prone to temporary price shocks that hurt lower-income people the most.
Finally, the Post completes their case against irrational, misplaced activism by making the critical point that pipeline transport is the safest option:
Even in places environmentalists try to cordon off, they can be only partially successful: As environmentalists took down the Keystone XL pipeline, oil train and truck transport boomed, posing much more danger to the surrounding environment than that pipeline would have.
Peter Zeller is Director of Operations at Center of the American Experiment.