Valve Turners Get Off Easy
The last three “valve turners” had all charges dropped by a naive judge, and the precedent it sets for state-permitted eco-extremists is very risky.
To recap this story, in October 2016 six individuals in several states (Washington, Minnesota, North Dakota and Montana) in a coordinated act of sabotage trespassed on private property, cut chains, broke locks, and turned the valves of major pipelines. This was done in the name of “climate change” and that alone was enough for the NY Times to canonize them as saints.
We’ll ignore the fact that pipelines are actually very, very green. Why these activists didn’t lay down on train tracks or on the interstate remains a mystery… The individuals in Washington and Montana were found guilty, but not given any jail time. One individual in North Dakota was sentenced to one year in prison. And just last week, the remaining three individuals who turned valves in Minnesota had their cases dismissed by, as we call it, a naive judge. Why were the charges dropped? The defense was unable to prove damage or the intent of damage.
So the new normal in Minnesota is now it is only a crime if damage is done. You can carjack, so long as you bring it back.
The organized leftists played this one perfectly, choosing elderly individuals, grandparents, and using language of deep concern about social injustice, humanity, etc. These individuals were seen as sympathetic folks who care… not the well organized, careful planning eco-terrorists they are.
Power The Future questions how seniors from Seattle, Washington found the valve terminals in Leonard, Minnesota. No offense to Leonard, Minnesota, but it’s not a point on the map many can readily pick out. But somehow, these concerned seniors knew exactly where to go. They knew what bolt cutters to bring. They knew to film it and post it. They knew what defense to use with their lawyers who were prepared for the charges. Someone paid for the 1,500-mile trip, whether by car or by air, and where were the concerns for the carbon footprint…? Were there no valves to turn in their own state, or does Seattle run or fairy dust?
The naive judge is telling people this behavior is acceptable, so long as nothing bad happens. And the valve turners are lucky nothing bad, did happen. But pipelines carrying 33,000 gallons per hour (550 gallons per second…) shouldn’t be tinkered with, regardless of what you think about the earth or the sun or the moon or the stars.
These activists, wearing waterproof jackets made with petrochemicals, using steel bolt cutters forged by coal, are part of the problem: too indifferent, too aloof, or too stupid to realize the amount of oil (and gas and coal) they use every day to be given the very luxury to protest. It is our hope that no one follows their lead, but if they do, let His Honor Judge Robert Tiffany know that every drop of oil spilled (or much much worse, every life lost) is because of his terrible, lax, dangerous decision.