Peaceful Protest, Sure. Eco-Terrorism, NO.

An Inside Sources article by retired U.S. Army General James ‘Spider’ Marks makes an important point: energy infrastructure sabotage is dangerous.

Recent news has shown us the downfalls of interfering with the construction and operation of large scale energy projects. Marks notes a number of recent events that have endangered or harmed environmental activists including:

  • Millions of dollars in damages to the Dakota Access Pipeline
  • 114 killed in Mexico when illegally tapping a natural gas pipeline
  • A series of Canadian bombing targeting pipeline infrastructure in 2008 and 2009
  • $500,000 in arson damages to the Mountain Valley Pipeline

Natural gas pipelines, for whatever reason, seem to be most frequently targeted.

Not only do these attackers put their lives on the line they also interfere with the energy grid at large. In 2016 a group of vandals known as the Four Necessity Valve Turners coordinated a break in of a secure facility to turn off valves controlling pipeline oil flow resulting in a security alert being issued by PHMSA, the nation’s leading pipeline regulator.

Actions like these are highly illegal but the disguise of “environmental activism” serves as a get out of jail – or avoid jail altogether – free card. Pennsylvania has also been victim to these action.

Activist groups like the Mama Bear Brigade or Philly Anti-Capitalists have irresponsibly chained themselves to heavy machinery, baited wild animals onto construction sites and damaged private property. Each of these puts their own and others’ lives at risk and should rightly result in jail time – Ellen Gerhart can attest.

Let’s not conflate peaceful activism with the eco-terrorism that is being pushed and OK’ed across the country, it harms not helps.