#NODAPL activists arrested after trying to shut off 5 oil pipelines carrying 15% of U.S. daily oil

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/10/11/nodapl.html


Even with “months” of research on safely shutting down pipelines, that still sounds like a great way to cause an accident.


I’m not onboard with this specific action, as it could lead to very messy unintended consequences. While I’m sure there are safety mechanisms in place to prevent an over-pressure condition, just turning off a valve could lead to a rupture upstream.

I know they supposedly studied this for a long time, but all their study is useless unless they know exactly WHERE all the proper valves and controls are. AND they would have to know when and where the pipeline companies were conducting any tests or maintenance. Try to imagine what would have happened if one of the lines had been running a pig when these lameos started their little game. Can you say “blowout”? I love the sight of people who are so concerned about the environment taking an ill-considered action that could have triggered an ecological disaster which would make the Exxon Valdez look like an oil can dropped on the floor. Let’s hear it for stupidity!


I had no idea we had so many experts here on BB.

I think it should be worth noting that an armed group of protesters took over Federal land and buildings for a month before being arrested. There must be some important difference between the two activities. Perhaps it’s racial. Perhaps it has to do with the monetary value of the thing.


For all their bombast, the Dildonians were NOT doing something that could have resulted in crude oil contaminating hundreds of square miles, polluting the drinking water for millions of people, killing Christ only knows how many fish, birds, and animals, and possibly causing raging oil fires in half a dozen different locations. Is is clear now?


You’d be surprised.

I’ve done programming for pipeline computers. Pipelines are pretty robust, but when they go wrong, they can go spectacularly wrong.

Shutting off a flowing stream is trickier than it looks: "water hammers " are annoying under your sink, but can wreak havoc at industrial scale if not managed correctly.

That said, I would guess the activist in this case probably did do their due diligence. In particular, the pipeline operators ( meaning the women and men in the control rooms) were probably given a heads up to be ready for an anomaly. Heck, these activists even wore their safety vests – although one of them isn’t wearing her safety helmet.


Those idiots took over some buildings in a wildlife refuge. Had they occupied a power plant or some other part of essential infrastructure, their protest would have been shorter.
I understand the rancher’s worries. I have a bulldozer and other equipment, which I use in a very earth-friendly way to keep drainage working, and clear brush for tallgrass prairie restoration. But to an “Earth First” person from Seattle or wherever, that equipment and anyone operating it is no different from someone engaged in strip mining.


Considering that many of the Standing Rock Sioux have environmental motives in addition to other concerns, it seems odd that a move that might lead to an oil slick is considered acting in solidarity. Maybe I’m wrong, perhaps they researched faithfully, but I genuinely doubt it. The Dunning-Krueger Effect is a real thing. Unless one of them is an engineer with some experience.


Boy howdy, the high level of common sense on this thread is almost disappointing. No “I support this, because oil Bad!” comments for me to mock.

Well done. I guess.

Strawman fallacy. Stay on topic.


In Japan, we love Earth First!


I think relying on something completely outside of their control - like a monitoring systems for valves and pressure in the pipeline - is acknowledging a massive risk in your plan. Something can only be safe if you are in control of the outcome, and when you don’t even have eyes on it you can’t control anything.

Maybe this is off-topic, but wouldn’t it make more sense to cut the cost by about 90%, build a refinery there, save the trouble and risk of a cross-country pipeline (and having to then send gas back north after its refined), and possibly make the locals happy?

I don’t know… sounds plausibleor maybe not. Hard to tell.


Refineries gotta go on the Gulf Coast.

How else do ya get a reason to jack up the price of gasoline every time a hurricane hits???

It’s concern trolls all the way down.


You forgot to actually say, “I’m concerned.”

@lolipop_jones: I support this, because oil bad. It’s almost a textbook-perfect example of civil disobedience. Nobody was hurt, and it’s clear the actors were not lucky but careful. It would have been much easier to just blow up the pipelines, but it’s clear NoDAPL was careful to avoid both injuries and oil spills. The damage is almost entirely symbolic and easily reversed. The one thing I don’t know is if the protesters willingly faced arrest. I hope so.


Why is hard to believe that some of these Sioux have professional experience working on the very pipeline they shut down? It’s not like they live in wigwams and engage in horseback raids on oil facilities. They’re modern people existing in modern civilization.

Given the well-publicized vulnerabilities in SCADA systems all over the world, I wouldn’t assume these monitors were not accessible.

A concern troll isn’t someone who is concerned, it’s someone who’s supposedly “concerned” entirely on behalf of an unrelated someone else (with whom they’ve never discussed the issue) in order to advance their own argument. Being concerned about the possibility of an oil spill is legitimate.


If they hacked into the monitoring systems I wouldn’t have any issue with their actions, but Indoubt that action would not have been missed by the media. Hacking is pretty buzzy thanks to the election.

@Boundegar It’s good that nothing went wrong, but if something did would you feel the same way? Advocating that the other option is terrorism doesn’t make much sense, and neither does saying the group took all effort to make sure the pipeline was safe when all indications are they only protected the people operating the valves.