AOC Fumbles Dakota Access Pipeline Facts

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made a number of incorrect statements about the Dakota Access Pipeline during a House Financial Services Committee hearing Tuesday. Despite traveling to North Dakota in 2016 to participate in the #NoDAPL protests, the freshman congresswomen falsely claimed among other things that:

The Dakota Access Pipeline was built “in defiance of the Standing Rock Sioux’s treaty rights.”

At no point does the Dakota Access Pipeline cross the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The pipeline crosses the Missouri River at Lake Oahe to the north of the reservation and runs parallel to the route to an existing natural gas pipeline

Anti-Pipeline Group Spreads Lies to Boost Fundraising

The anti-pipeline encampment known as the L’eau Est La Vie Camp is on life support after a failed campaign to stop construction of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline. Refusing to accept defeat, opponents have now resorted to spreading outright lies in order to keep their movement alive.

Earlier this week, the camp put out a press release falsely claiming that the project is“delayed indefinitely,” despite clear evidence showing otherwise.

For over a year, these career activists have lived at the expense of others. A GoFundMe campaign for the L’eau Est La Vie Camp has raised over $100,000 and donations from organizations …

FACT CHECK: Is the Bayou Bridge Pipeline “Delayed Indefinitely?”

CLAIM: Activists from the L’eau Est La Vie Camp claimed that construction of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline “has been halted indefinitely” and that “Energy Transfer Partners may have lied to its shareholders when it told investors the Bayou Bridge pipeline will be fully functional this month.”

RATING: FALSE

The claim is false given a series of recent investor calls and legal filings that indicate the pipeline is expected to be placed into service in March.

FACT CHECK

Energy Transfer said in February that the project would likely be placed into service sometime in March. “[W]e are nearing completion of construction …

FACT CHECK: New York’s Looming Natural Gas Crisis

CLAIM: In a recent opinion piece, the Public Accountability Initiative’s Robert Galbraith claimed that National Fuel’s Northern Access Pipeline “won’t bring energy security” and that the GAIN Coalition is just a bunch of “oil and gas lobbying groups.”

RATING: FALSE

FACT CHECK

Mr. Galbraith claims that the “Northern Access Pipeline cannot remotely be considered an essential infrastructure project for New York’s energy security.” Perhaps Mr. Galbraith needs to be reminded that New York is currently facing a growing natural gas shortage due to insufficient pipeline infrastructure.

In January, utility giant Consolidated Edison announced that beginning mid-March it will “no …

FACT CHECK: Energy Production Not Impacted By Pipeline Protests

CLAIM: Environmental activists claim that their actions to protest the Keystone XL Pipeline have been successful in reducing Canadian oil production.

RATING: FALSE

While production cuts have been imposed, they are already proving to be short-lived as more oil begins making its way market via railroad.

FACT CHECK

Oil prices in Canada plunged last fall due to a burgeoning supply glut resulting in large part from a chronic shortage in available pipeline capacity. In response, Alberta—Canada’s largest oil-producing province—imposed a temporary 8.7 percent production cut in order to clear the backlog of oil waiting to be shipped to market. The …

Rising Crude-By-Rail Shipments Bad News for American Agriculture

Surging U.S. oil and natural gas production has unleashed a new ear of American prosperity. It has also created a myriad of  transportation bottlenecks in production regions across the country. In the absence of adequate pipeline capacity, producers are forced to rely on railroads to ship resources to market.

Most recently, reduced capacity on Enbridge’s Line 3 and the ongoing legal drama over the Keystone XL Pipeline caused the Canadian government to contract 4,400 railway tank cars to move oil to U.S. markets. Crude-by-rail shipments from Canada to the U.S. are already at an historic high, more than doubling …

FACT CHECK: Dakota Access Pipeline Not a Threat to Drinking Water

CLAIM: The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe claims that the Dakota Access Pipeline threatens their drinking water supply. “The [U.S. Army Corps of Engineers] is taking our clean water and sacred places by approving this river crossing…Protecting water and our sacred places has always been at the center of our cause,” said the tribe’s former chairman, David Archambault.

RATING: False

FACT CHECK

Pipelines, according to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration, are “one of the safest and least costly ways to transport energy products” and “safely deliver trillions of cubic feet of natural gas and hundreds of billions of ton/miles …

FACT CHECK: No Adverse Effects from Pipelines on Property Values

CLAIM: The Wimberly Valley Watershed Association claimed that Kinder Morgan’s Permian Highway Pipeline would negatively impact property values in the region. “Property values will be severely diminished and the opportunities for growth and development in the region will be diminished,” the group said in a petition opposing the pipeline.

RATING: False

The claim is both unsubstantiated and refuted by numerous studies examining the relationship between pipelines and property values. 

FACT CHECK

Questions regarding potential impacts to property values are often raised during the development of oil and natural gas pipeline projects. While these concerns are understandable, they are largely unsupported …

FACT CHECK: Obama Admin Wanted Line 3 Replacement

CLAIM: Minnesota House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt claimed that the Obama administration had recommend that Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline be replaced.

RATING: TRUE

During President Obama’s second term, the Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency reached a settlement agreement with Enbridge that among other things required that Line 3 be replaced.

FACT CHECK

In the summer of 2016, Enbridge entered into a settlement agreement with Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency—both led by Obama appointees at the time—to resolve claims stemming from two pipeline spills six years earlier.

As part the agreement, Enbridge agreed to invest over $100 …

FACT CHECK: No, Bayou Bridge Didn’t Violate Permit Conditions

CLAIM: A coalition of environmental groups, including the Atchafalaya Basinkeeper and Sierra Club, claimed in a federal lawsuit that the developer of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline has violated the terms of a federal permit issued for the project.

RATING: FALSE

FACT CHECK

On Jan. 23, a coalition of environmental groups filed a petition asking a federal court to halt construction of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline in Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin. The coalition alleges that the project’s developer has continued to work on the 163-mile pipeline despite a federal permit provision barring construction activity during high-water conditions.

This claim is false given …