Recent protests against the Bayou Bridge Pipeline have taken an increasingly dangerous turn. Protesters have taken to trees in the way of pipeline construction, suspending themselves from multiple trees in devices they are referring to as “sky pods.” Additionally, they have also employed tactics that have included chaining themselves to equipment, blocking roads, and kayaking too close to operating machinery. These tactics risk the safety of both pipeline workers and protesters.
L’eau Est La Vie Camp, one of the activist groups boasting about recent protest demonstrations, has even taken to their Facebook page to share that “this resistance is happening despite a new law that went into effect this week in Louisiana that makes it a possible felony charge…” and promise to “continue to develop new ways of resisting and taking action to stop this pipeline.” L’eau Est La Vie Camp has also claimed that security personnel and [pipeline] workers are “threatening the lives of tree-sitters.” These individuals continue to criminally trespass, damage equipment, and put themselves at risk when suspending themselves from trees high in the air. These activist groups have no regard for the law or concern for the safety of their members or pipeline workers.
However, recently implemented legislation seeks to protect Louisiana’s critical infrastructure by increasing the penalty for unauthorized entry of and criminal damage to critical infrastructure. Critical infrastructure includes but is not limited to power plants, oil refineries, chemical plants, water treatment facilities, and pipelines. The new law, which received overwhelming bipartisan support, went into effect on Aug. 1. Hopefully this legislation helps protesters think twice before risking their safety and the safety of pipeline workers and law enforcement officials.
After a rigorous permitting process, environmental assessment, and numerous legal challenges: Bayou Bridge development presses on. Louisianians for Energy thanks the Louisiana State Legislature for recognizing the importance of critical infrastructure and the need to protect it, as well as local law enforcement for their diligence and professionalism in responding to these difficult situations.