Bismarck, ND (October 11, 2016) – The following is a statement from the Laborers District Council of Minnesota and North Dakota following reports that activists have physically shut down five pipelines carrying oil between Canada and the United States, including pipelines operated by Enbridge Energy and TransCanada in Minnesota and North Dakota.
"The attacks that were mounted today against pipelines carrying Canadian oil set a terrible precedent, and represent a dangerous escalation in a misguided war on pipelines. When self-styled environmental activists interfere with the operation of live pipelines, they not only jeopardize shipments of fuel and chemicals that are essential to the lives of millions, but also risk damaging the safeguards that are put in place to prevent spills. These dangerous acts of sabotage are justified by some as necessary to prevent climate change.
Yet, like so many other misguided battles over pipelines, these actions will do nothing to lower the carbon emissions produced by the consumption – not the transport – of petroleum and other fossil fuels. Instead, they only serve to alienate our members and millions of other working people who know exactly how important reliable fuel supplies and other petroleum inputs are to their lives and their livelihood from the cause of fighting climate change.
Pipelines are proven to be the safest, cleanest, and most reliable means to transport oil, natural gas and hazardous liquids and our nation and our world rely on them for our survival. We should be working together to ensure that our pipeline infrastructure is as robust and safe as possible while we work on building a lower-carbon future. Unfortunately, today’s extreme actions attempt to take the environmental movement in the opposite direction, endangering our economy and our environment, and increasing the divisions between climate activists and the vast majority of working people."