Environmentalists Bring Fight Against Oil And Gas Pipelines To The Atchafalaya Basin

Normally when there is talk about an oil and gas pipeline in Louisiana, it usually goes through with little fanfare. Which makes sense because the state is already covered in pipelines.

But the Dakota Access Pipeline protests have inspired environmentalists to oppose pipelines even in Louisiana. There is a new pipeline that has been proposed that would run through the Atchafalaya Basin and connect Louisiana oil refineries to a national network of refineries.

If successful, the pipeline would take oil and gas shipments off the road and railroad and reroute them through a pipeline. The pipelines are much safer for the environment than shipping oil by truck and train.

But The Advocate profiled the environmentalists in an article that read more like a press release for pipeline opponents.

The new pipeline would cross a south Louisiana landscape that’s already a dense patchwork of smaller oil and gas pipelines, but some environmental groups say it’s time for the state to take a close look before adding another.

“We’ve let so much be destroyed, and it’s just time to stop it,” said Anne Rolfes, director of the New Orleans-based Louisiana Bucket Brigade.

The Bucket Brigade, the Louisiana chapter of the Sierra Club, the Gulf Restoration Network, the Atchafalaya Basinkeeper and five other environmental and conservation groups have joined in a formal request that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers deny the federal permit needed for the pipeline.

A public hearing on the permit application is set for 6 p.m. on Jan. 12 in Baton Rouge.

Past pipeline projects in the state have been approved with little fanfare, but Rolfes and others hope media coverage of protests in North Dakota over completing the Dakota Access pipeline could bring more scrutiny to the Louisiana project.

“There is no doubt that current events are making people more passionate,” Rolfes said.

She said Louisiana, long known as an oil-and-gas state, should be shifting away from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

“Putting in another pipeline does not help that transition,” Rolfes said. “… We are already getting nailed by floods and other calamities that are caused by the warming of our atmosphere.”

Anne Rolfes doesn’t have much of a grasp on the subject matter at hand. She is making exclusively emotional arguments against the pipeline.

In addition, she keeps saying we should “shift towards renewable energy.” But she doesn’t explain how. Oil and gas are going to be used for the foreseeable future and wouldn’t it make sense to transport them as safely as possible?

We don’t think that the environmentalists will be successful in their fight against pipelines and domestic energy. The people of Louisiana are still strongly supportive of the oil and gas industry.

The pipeline is expected to be a $750 million shot in the arm for Louisiana’s economy.

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