We Must Support the American Pipeline Build-Out
Not everything President Trump does is breaking news. Some very concrete actions, not glamorous or glitzy, are the ones which impact the economy in real terms, go unnoticed. Recently a major decision protecting our energy markets went into effect, and the boldness behind it is no less laudable just because it flies under the radar.
Executive Order 13868 protects our nation’s energy pipelines. “Protect from what?” you may ask. Not from age or wear and tear. Protect from protesters.
Pipeline are target of eco-left protesters. From the Keystone XL pipeline in North Dakota to the Bayou Bridge pipeline in Louisiana, eco warriors have protested, sued, blocked, even chained themselves to dozens of pipelines across the nation.
Pipeline protesters have a history, and seemingly enjoyment of, extreme tactics. In Louisiana the destruction of property and violence became so severe the Governor signed a law to protect the workers and the state’s critical infrastructure. In the case of Keystone, protestors left behind 48 million pounds of garbage and several newborn puppies in their wake.
Remember, these protesters love the earth. Right?
Pipelines are the safest and least expensive means to deliver energy around the nation. We have over 2 million miles of oil pipelines alone crisscrossing America. Every pipeline means fewer trucks or trains or tankers. Pipelines are “green” if going green is the goal of protesters.
President Trump signaled early on that he was pro-energy, and that means pro-pipeline. In his first week in office he reversed President Obama’s decision to block the Keystone XL pipeline. This new executive order strengthens Trump’s energy legacy.
This is America and people do have a right to protest. They have a right to wave signs (normally printed with petrochemicals) and take buses (powered by petrochemicals) to set up camps (almost all camping equipment is made from petrochemicals) to protest petrochemical pipelines, irony be damned.
But they do not have a right to violate private property, destroy equipment, threaten and intimidate energy workers, and sabotage pipelines which power our nation. In the past eco-terrorist groups have caused tens of millions of dollars in damage torching private and commercial property (with petrochemicals) for not being green enough. As a society we cannot tolerate these type tactics as merely “protests.” Violent tactics cannot become mainstream.
Furthermore, we have desperate need for an improved energy infrastructure. And the First Amendment does not afford protesters the right to hamper our national growth. Blocking pipelines, blocking energy, only harms people, communities, and our economy.
Look at New York. The Governor, Andrew Cuomo, guided by green philosophies and not science, blocked a proposed 124-mile pipeline to Pennsylvania, which would have carried cheap natural gas to his constituents while creating thousands of jobs.
Green protesters celebrate this as a “win.” But the people lose. They pay for in utilities and miss out on better paying jobs. Don’t their right to a better life merit at least as much attention as the right of protesters?
Cuomo’s monumentally dumb decision has real consequences. Natural gas shortages are quickly becoming the norm. The Wall Street Journal reported utility companies are denying new applications for natural gas connections. New York has even been caught importing natural gas from Russia (of all places) just to meet demand.
You read that right: New York taxpayers are funding America’s adversary because their “green” Governor stopped a pipeline thus keeping the cost of gas high, while preventing an economic boom in his own state with new job creation. Russian tankers traversing the ocean is better than a pipeline to Pennsylvania. Is this what it means to be “green?”
Then green is the new dumb.
Cuomo doesn’t realize it is not an either – or choice. As President Trump said at a recent White House event we can have both a clean environment and a booming economy. Pipelines are key to that: providing jobs, having a small carbon footprint, keeping our economy and our nation running.
Without bold action by the President, New York’s predicament would worsen and potentially be replicated in other states. Protecting pipeline construction makes America stronger.
We cannot allow peoples’ misguided beliefs, desire to “protest,”or political stupidity to cripple our nation. With little fanfare a great decision by this administration has gone into effect, and we are all better off because of it.
Even Governor Cuomo and the eco-warrior protesters are better off, even if they are too blinded by green ideology to see it.
Daniel Turner is the founder and executive director of Power The Future, a national nonprofit organization that advocates for American energy jobs. Follow him on Twitter @DanielTurnerPTF