FACT CHECK: Are Mountain Valley Pipeline Protesters “Peaceful”?

CLAIM: Media reports out of Virginia claim that extremists protesting the Mountain Valley Pipeline “are peacefully protesting the pipeline,” with one activist saying they are non-violent and respect state police.

RATING

False

FACT CHECK

Developments quickly overtook the narrative, and that story needed to be updated:

A Giles County man was charged with assaulting a Mountain Valley Pipeline worker during a protest at a construction site Monday. … Jammie Hale, 46, was charged with assaulting a Mountain Valley employee, a misdemeanor. He was later released on a $2,500 bond.

Another was arrested for locking himself to concrete …

FACT CHECK: Are Infrastructure Protection Laws “un-American”?

CLAIM: The Natural Resources Defense Council claims that the US Department of Transportation’s proposed legislation to protect pipelines and pipeline construction projects are “un-American,” “anti-freedom” and an effort to “stop protest.”

RATING

False

FACT CHECK

These claims would be true only to the degree that the proposal aims to take away the freedom to break the law with minimal consequences. Never mind that the proposal does nothing to prevent legal activities associated with protests, including First Amendment rights of speech and assembly.

The US Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) joined states in proposing new legislation …

FACT CHECK: New Book Paints Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters As Innocent Victims

CLAIM: A new book – “Standing With Standing Rock — Voices from the #NODAPL Movement” –paints protesters at the Dakota Access Pipeline as both heroes and victims of “ritualistic brutality” in their battle against authorities and corporations – and the environmental dangers posed by the pipeline.

RATING

False

FACT CHECK

First, let’s look at the record of violent activity by environmental extremists who put themselves, police and workers at risk. This includes environmental extremists setting a dozen fires on a public highway while protesting pipeline.

Extremists also threatened reporters covering the protests. On October 11, 2016, reporters were confronted and …

FACT CHECK: Newspaper Claims State Laws Make Protesting Illegal

CLAIM: UK-based The Guardian claims that, “Seven states have passed laws that ratchet up the penalties for activists protesting or even planning protests of oil and gas pipelines and other `critical infrastructure.’”

RATING

False

FACT CHECK

The Guardian is buying into extremists’ claims that state laws are aimed at their First Amendment right to protest through free speech and assembly. Nothing, however, in any of the laws infringe upon their rights to speech and assembly.

Instead, they are aimed at penalizing and curbing dangerous and illegal behavior that endanger workers, law-enforcement officials and the protesters themselves. That’s why the …

FACT CHECK: Study Claims Natural Gas Will Play Larger Role in Climate Change Than Coal

CLAIM: A new study claims that proposed liquified natural gas (LNG) will play “as large or larger role” as new coal investments in causing global warming. The Global Energy Monitor study said the impact would occur “if all planned projects go ahead.”

RATING

False

FACT CHECK

A 2014 study by the U.S. Department of Energy found the opposite. In fact, the study concluded: “This analysis has determined that the use of U.S. LNG exports for power production in European and Asian markets will not increase (greenhouse gas) emissions, on a life cycle perspective, when compared to regional coal extraction …

FACT CHECK: Social Justice Professor Admits Anti-Tampering Laws Are Not About First Amendment

CLAIM: In an article critical of new laws and proposals to crack down on illegal activity associated with protests at pipelines and pipeline construction projects, environmental extremists complain that those measures are “infringing on the rights of political expression and having a chilling effect on freedoms.” That’s especially true for indigenous protesters, according to the Sierra Club.

RATING

False

FACT CHECK

Proposed federal legislation and laws in states across the country are in no way aimed at First Amendment-protected rights of speech and assembly. Instead, they are aimed at illegal and/or violent crimes that routinely occur at pipelines or pipeline …

Extremists Fundraising to Support Illegal Activity at Pipeline Construction Sites

Extremist group Appalachians Against Pipelines is fundraising to support continued dangerous and illegal activities at pipeline construction sites, based on a man illegally chaining himself to equipment working on the Mountain Valley Pipeline.  Such extreme protest tactics can risk damaging heavy machinery, in turn posing a risk to workers in addition to protesters themselves.

This is precisely the type of dangerous activity that prompted states across the country to enact legislation to increase penalties for illegal acts – including violent acts, tampering and trespassing like at the Mountain Valley Pipeline project.  These are not first amendment protests; they put workers …

FACT CHECK: Extremists Claim Trans Mountain Pipeline Bad for Environment

CLAIM: Canada’s federal government approved the “twinning” of the Trans Mountain pipeline to support an efficient exporting of oil, leading environmental extremists to claim the decision demonstrates the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s hypocrisy because his government declared a climate emergency the day before. “This is like declaring war on cancer and then announcing a campaign to promote smoking,” the Rainforest Action Network said.

RATING: False

FACT CHECK

The Trans Mountain pipeline is desperately needed because the region must rely on oil trains due to pipeline capacity issues. Contrary to what activists claim, the Trans Mountain pipeline will reduce the need …

FACT CHECK: South Dakota Riot Boosting Law Doesn’t “Outlaw Many Forms of Pipeline Protest”

CLAIM: The Capital Journal of South Dakota reports that the state’s riot boosting law “is an attempt by (Governor) Noem to outlaw many forms of Pipeline protest,” while also noting that groups opposed to the law say it is a threat to free speech.

RATING:False

FACT CHECK

The riot boosting law does not outlaw forms of protest. Instead, it imposes new penalties for illegal activity and for supporting illegal activity.

As previously noted, the new law does not threaten free speech or create new illegal forms of protest. Additionally, the language in Senate Bill 189 is clear

FACT CHECK: Ignoring Facts, NRDC Calls Pipelines “Dangerous” and “Reckless”

CLAIM: The Natural Resources Defense Council claims that a proposed pipeline that would run through New Jersey is a “dangerous” and “reckless” project and that they will use “every tool in the kit to stop this dangerous pipeline from ever being built.”

RATING: False

FACT CHECK

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) concludes that pipelines “enable the safe movement of extraordinary quantities of energy products to industry and consumers, literally fueling our economy and way of life.” The PHMSA also says pipelines are “one of the safest and least costly ways to transport energy products.”

Further, the PHMSA …