Al Gore Ignores Climate Benefits of Dakota Access Pipeline in Announcing Support for Protestors

Former Vice President Al Gore issued a statement indicating his support for the ongoing Dakota Access Pipeline protest – and in doing so, put forward yet more inaccuracies about the Pipeline:

Emissions: “Driven by their business model to continue spewing harmful global warming pollution into our Earth’s atmosphere.”

Fact: The Dakota Access Pipeline does not increase output from the Bakken region, it just transports the same energy in a safer and cheaper way.  Moreover, the pipeline will reduce net emissions and risk of spill by displacing at least 5 to 7 unit trains of rail cars currently moving crude by rail.  With each unit train comprising 100 rail cars, and each car holding 60,000 barrels, the pipeline would displace at least 300,000 barrels per day.

Fact: The business model he mentions will be responsible for updating America’s energy infrastructure, any halt could chill private investment on future development. As a former Senator and Vice President, it is shortsighted to discredit both the national needs and solutions Dakota Access addresses.

Sacred Sites: “Acts by Native Americans and their allies who are defending and trying to protect their sacred sites.”

Fact: The Standing Rock Sioux has produced no tangible evidence that the construction corridor—an area that already features energy infrastructure—has any material of cultural significance. The argument that construction has destroyed cultural sites has been proven false by three independent reviews.

Water Risk: “Dakota Access Pipeline in particular – have been proceeding with what appears to be a dangerous project in blatant disregard of obvious risks to the Missouri River.”

Fact: There is an obvious risk to the Missouri: the crude by rail that already crosses the river just near the Standing Rock’s new water intake south of the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing. Pipelines like Dakota Access are significantly safer than crude rail or trucking.

“The non-violent resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline.”

Fact: The protest has been anything but non-violent. Protestors have and assaulted members of the media, put law enforcement officials’ lives in danger, and threatened pipeline workers.