Dakota Access pipeline protesters' actions crossed the line

August 18, 2017

Letter to the Editor from Brigadier General Russell A. Eggers, USA (ret.) from Des Moines.

I was pleased to see the Register’s editorial board denounce the actions of two professional protesters who held a press conference declaring responsibility for serious acts of vandalism up and down the Dakota Access Pipeline route [Thistle: Vandals undermine thoughtful protesters, Aug. 6]. There is peaceful protesting, and then there is criminal activity.

The activists committed acts of arson and sabotage in an attempt to stop this important energy project. In the process, they caused significant private property damage to construction equipment and pipeline sites. They also exposed themselves to life-threatening situations.

The pipeline is now safely in the ground and transporting important domestic energy resources. Modern pipelines have impressive safety records, and they serve an important function. The better our ability to transport the key energy resources our economy depends on, the less we must rely on foreign actors, like OPEC, for our energy needs.

The protesters relied on extreme tactics in an attempt to get their message across, but in the end, common sense has prevailed. I hope no other aspiring activists around the nation model their behavior after this approach. In my opinion, we are all better off having an honest and open debate around energy policy.

Read full LTE from The Des Moines Register here.

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