Thursday, February 9, 2017

Dakota Access Dumping Ground A pipeline can proceed but the protesters left a dirty mess...


Dakota Access Dumping Ground

A pipeline can proceed but the protesters left a dirty mess.

In this Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, aerial image taken from a video by KXMB in Bismarck, N.D., law enforcement officers line up against protesters during the eviction of about 40 Dakota Access pipeline opponents.
In this Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, aerial image taken from a video by KXMB in Bismarck, N.D., law enforcement officers line up against protesters during the eviction of about 40 Dakota Access pipeline opponents. PHOTO: /ASSOCIATED PRESS
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finally granted an easement Tuesday that will allow the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under the Missouri River north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. The approval means that construction of the final 1.5 miles of the more than 1,700-mile pipeline can proceed. More important, the approval means that the era of arbitrary political interference with private infrastructure projects is over.
The pipeline’s last sliver had been held up for months by protesters who claim to oppose disturbing the area’s pristine natural resources. In reality, they oppose extracting any fossil fuels from the ground, and the Obama Administration indulged them in its final days.
Other evidence of less-than-pristine motives comes from the garbage dump the protesters left behind. A North Dakota Fox affiliate reported this week on the clean-up efforts for the makeshift encampments: Thousands of protesters produced enough garbage to fill an estimated 250 trucks with traush. The detritus—tarps, tents—has frozen into “massive chunks of junk,” said the report, and much of it is buried under snow.
The Army Corps closed the area and said in a press release that grass has been destroyed or removed from some 50 acres. The mess has to be cleared out before a spring flood sends toxic sludge into the nearby Cannonball River and Lake Oahe, the same lake the protesters said would be polluted by the pipeline. Moral grandstanding can be a dirty business, but shouldn’t the protesters pay to clean up their own mess?