Infrastructure Expert: Pipeline Protesters Damaging Environment, Raising Energy Costs

Indigenous and climate protesters have long been opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline
AFP Jason Redmond

Brigham McCown, an expert on infrastructure and safety who served in the George W. Bush and Donald J. Trump administration’s Department of Transportation, said on Sunday that the protests against pipeline construction and implementation are hurting the environment protesters claim to want to protect and driving up energy costs for Americans.

“In the name of the environment — people objecting to these new infrastructure projects are actually undermining that very environment,” McCown said.

McCown spoke on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Sunday, hosted by Breitbart Deputy Political Editor Amanda House. He said protests against pipelines are also costly for the states, which have to pay for security and the clean up of protest sites.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem supports legislation that would require protests like the one over the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines to pay for security and other costs.

“Her bill has some very good aspects,” McCown said. “One is you can go after this out of state money because what we saw during these last couple protests — these a not local homegrown protests at all and a lot of money is coming in from out of state funding these groups.”

“Really the people responsible for that ought to be paying for it,” said McCown, who is now an adjunct professor of business law and political science at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and is the founder of, a public policy think tank.

McCown also said during his interview on Breitbart News Sunday that some protestors who are damaging pipelines and committing crimes and should be held accountable.

McCown pointed out that there are 2.8 million miles of pipelines in the nation’s “underground energy highway” and that they are have been the primary way to move oil and gas for decades.

“Pipelines are the safest way to transport large volumes of energy products,” McCown said. “That’s why they’ve been transporting the lion’s share of these products for nearly a century.”

McCown explained that opposition to pipelines, especially in New England and other northeastern states, are driving up energy costs for consumers. 

Without pipelines, states are forced to import energy resources from places like Russia, which “makes no sense whatsoever,” McCown said, given the abundant resources right here in the United States.

“You are paying more than you should be paying for your propane, for your natural gas, for your unleaded gasoline, your diesel fuel because it’s gotten difficult to build these underground energy highways and what that means is what you’re getting is more expensive because transportation costs have gone up significantly — if you can get it,” McCown said.

“When you have abundant natural gas sitting less than 500 miles away in Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and you can’t get it to Boston or New York or Philadelphia there’s something wrong with our policy,” McCown said.

“If we don’t allow ourselves to build the critical infrastructure we need we’re going to have more of these problems,” McCown said. “That’s the future if we don’t correct this.”

Breitbart News Sunday airs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays on SiriusXM Patriot Radio.

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