Hoping to replicate the temporary successes of anti-pipeline agitators in North Dakota, three activists were arrested today at a west Texas construction site.
Members of the Big Bend Defense Coalition were arrested Tuesday morning near Alpine at a site connected to the Trans-Pecos Pipeline Project, operated by the now infamous Energy Transfer Partners. Brewster County Sheriff deputies removed leader Lori Glover, former oilfield hand Arajoe Battista, and local resident Roger Siglin after chaining themselves to company property, according to FuelFix.
Glover explained her reasons to take a stand at the western Texas site: “We must protect our water, challenge corporate greed, and come to our senses on the truth of fossil fuels and climate change,” according to the industry outlet.
The protest action serves as an admittedly overt attempt to siphon interest from the Dakota Access Pipeline flashpoint, according to a coalition statement.
“We want to welcome all those willing to come and help us protect our nation against corporate greed unfettered.”
A #NoDAPL Facebook page took up the cause of the Big Bend group in a post published Tuesday. The page further quoted Glover noting:
The fight in Standing Rock extends down here to Texas. The Black Snake is not dead. It is alive and well in the Big Bend. The Trans-Pecos Pipeline near Big Bend and the Comanche Trail Pipeline near El Paso – both projects of Kelcy Warren’s Energy Transfer Partners – threaten pristine lands and the sacred Rio Grande River.
Unlike concerns reported in North Dakota, the western Texas pipeline project does not include an activist hook related to drinking water tapped by a local Native American reservation. Regardless, protesters demand that an environmental impact study be completed before construction may continue.
The Texas project is slated to span three remote counties: Pecos (47 miles), Brewster (34 miles), and Presidio (67 miles). Much of the project does not cover any known aquifers, nor does it cross any reservation lands. The 148 mile line will run from the Waha Hub near Fort Stockton and terminate in Presidio. Energy Transfer claims that the 42 inch pipe will generate $7 million in annual property tax revenues and create roughly 350 construction jobs.
Pipeline protests in North Dakota have transitioned from sleepy, local affairs to magnetic and violent events in the months leading up to the 2016 Election and thereafter. Most recently, construction was halted after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a federal agency with flowage easements on parcels of land in contention, reversed itself, according to Breitbart News. The bureaucratic maneuver only appears to be a temporary delay, given that the forthcoming Donald J. Trump administration has signaled intentions to reverse the matter.
President-Elect Trump’s general support for new energy infrastructure projects has predictably drawn the ire of left-of-center politicians, sometimes spiraling into dubious claims. Nebraska Democratic Party leader Jane Kleeb recently expressed concern on Russia Today (RT) that Trump would even consider pipeline construction from Saudi Arabia without any environmental oversight to the United States.
Avoiding any major delays, the new infrastructure will be capable of transporting 1.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas daily by March 2017.
Logan Churchwell is the Assistant Editor and a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. You can follow him on Twitter @LCChurchwell.