The Cost of Pipeline Protests: North Dakota Sues Federal Government

North Dakota filed a $38 million federal lawsuit to recover costs of providing security and cleaning up after environmental extremists protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Associated Press reports. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem filed the suit after an administrative order from last month went ignored:

“When the protesters finally left, they left behind a spoiled environment and a vast quantity of dangerous waste, garbage and debris that had to be cleaned up by the state at considerable cost,” Stenehjem told reporters.

As we have noted previously, protesters at the Dakota Access Pipeline caused significant damage. There is a clear 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 threatened with bodily harm. In a video released by NBC North Dakota, masked demonstrators can be seen surrounding the news crew and aggressively challenging their right to report on the unfolding protests. “You guys need to go to your car and get the f**k out of here,” said a protester. “Shut the f**k up. If you keep talking dude I’m going to f**king kick your ass bro,” said another as the journalists scramble to retreat from the public roadway they were reporting from.

The anti-media hostility was reiterated later that day with protesters urging continued confrontation with the NBC affiliate. “At actions, please step forward and place your bodies between #KFYR (KFYR-TV) news anchors’ cameras and the action, and remind them gently but firmly that they are under no circumstances allowed to film the actions of water protectors,” wrote Sara Long in a Facebook post.