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Equipment used by contractors of the Dakota Access Pipeline project in Iowa was intentionally set on fire on Saturday, the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office said in a media release on Monday, proving that the controversy surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline project is heating up.
Three bulldozers and one excavator were set on fire near the town of Reasnor, the same location at which equipment was believed to have been set ablaze on August 1, the Sheriff’s Office noted. In the August suspected arson, the damage amounted to some US$1 million.
The latest incident along the 1,168-mile-long, US$3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline project caused damage of around US$2 million, the Sheriff’s Office said, and called upon people who may have information to contact the authorities.
The company responsible for the pipeline construction, Dakota Access, is offering a US$100,000 reward for tips that may lead “to the arrest and conviction of those responsible”.
The suspected arsons are just part of the problems the project has faced in recent months. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe and environmentalists have been protesting against the construction of the pipeline, saying that it would desecrate sacred sites, and fearing that it could leak oil into nearby rivers. If the project can hurdle all the obstacles currently in its path, the Dakota Access will bring oil from the Bakken in North Dakota to Gulf Coast refineries.
Recent DAPL protestors include actress Shailene Woodley who was arrested last week in North Dakota while she was protesting the Dakota Access pipeline. Woodley joins the ranks of multiple Hollywood celebs that have made anti-DAPL appearances at protests over the last month.
Saturday’s fire in Iowa came just a few days after activists against the use of fossil fuels shut down five pipelines on U.S. territory that were used to supply tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada. Five activists employed manual safety valves to shut down pipelines in Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, and Washington.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.