More activists charged in pipeline shutdown

More activists charged in pipeline shutdown
© Getty

Three more anti-fossil fuel protesters have been charged in connection with a pipeline shutdown protest this week. 

The three protesters charged in North Dakota on Thursday — Michael Eric Foster of Seattle, Samuel L. Jessup of Burlington, Vt. and Deia Lisabeth Schlosberg of Bozeman, Mont — received a total of 14 charges ranging from misdemeanors to felonies, Forum Communications reports

ADVERTISEMENT
Foster alone faces eight charges, including four felonies. He’s accused of using bolt cutters to break into a pipeline facility and closing a valve to shut down the flow of oil. Pipeline operator TransCanada said protesters shut down the pipeline for seven hours, and that it lost $50,000 due to the incident. 

Two other protesters face felony charges in Minnesota for interfering with two pipelines there. That pair was charged on Wednesday.

Police arrested at least nine activists on Tuesday for tampering with five oil pipelines along the United States-Canada border. The protesters, from the group Climate Direct Action, said their actions were in solidarity with groups opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline project in North Dakota.  

The group targeted Enbridge Partners’ lines 4 and 67, TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone, Spectra Energy’s Express, and Kinder Morgan Inc.’s TransMountain pipelines.

The oil industry has slammed the protests as dangerous and criminal, and federal officials are looking into the incident, the White House said on Wednesday. 

“I can tell you that both the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Transportation are investigating these reports and trying to get to the bottom of what exactly happened and what potential steps could be taken to ensure the safety and security of our energy infrastructure,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday.