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Don’t expect the Pipeline Wars to simmer down, because some radical opponents will go to any lengths to stop them.
Inside Sources reports one group of pipeline protesters is selling an ecoterrorism manual to instruct others on how to fight energy infrastructure projects:
They call it DAM. That’s short for Direct Action Manual. Groups connected to the protest camp for the Mariner East 2 pipeline in Pennsylvania are selling copies for $25. Published by Earth First! — an openly radical environmentalist (sic) group and journal — the manual lays out protest techniques for use by environmentalists. Some of these approaches were even used at the pipeline protests in North Dakota last year. Earth First! supports violent actions against energy infrastructure development and the manual itself is essentially an ecoterrorist’s handbook, laying out techniques and approaches to stop various forms of energy infrastructure development. Now on its third edition, its publishers are supporters of the protest against the Mariner 2 pipeline in Pennsylvania and worked to stop the Keystone XL pipeline in the past.
The report goes into some of the tactics mentioned in the book:
“The possibilities are really endless, and you should let your imagination run wild,” the Direct Action Manual advises. “Do they only value money and property? Some slashed tires, paint stripper, and sand in the gas tank can certainly make them think twice about if their choices are worth it…Channel your inner younger sibling energy and you’ll be sure to make someone’s life hell.”
This is followed by a section detailing how to turn off lights and water at someone’s home or business and recipes for DIY stink bombs and “critter bombs,” involving a dead animal.
Many of those violent tactics were used in the protests surrounding the recently-completed Dakota Access Pipeline: Arson; rioting; vandalism; tires slashed and hoses cut on heavy machinery; construction and security workers attacked; Molotov cocktails launched at police.
What’s more, during the protests, pipeline opponents calling themselves, "Climate Direct Action," attacked four other pipelines. One expert warned their actions could’ve created a “catastrophic” pipeline disaster.
Now with an energy-friendly president in the White House, it should be easier to get oil and natural gas pipeline projects through the federal permitting process. In response, “Keep it in the ground” folks may resort to more violence to stop them.
Energy infrastructure developers and law enforcement must be vigilant. Also, anyone (or groups) tempted to join these pipeline protests—like celebrities—should think twice about the types of people they may be associating with.
Spirited debate is an American tradition, but it crosses the line when it becomes violent.