Letter to the editor: pipeline protestors

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Late last week,The Advocate reported three Bayou Bridge Pipeline protesters filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Baton Rouge challenging a Louisiana law aimed at protecting critical infrastructure, including pipelines, claiming that their First Amendment rights were violated. This is just the latest in a long string of protester antics and legal challenges to the Bayou Bridge Pipeline and Louisiana's energy infrastructure.

The fact is that while protesting the pipeline, activists broke the law and were arrested. A troubling norm has developed in which protesters decide to pick and choose what laws they want to follow. Despite claims of local grassroots opposition to the pipeline – it's clear these are professionals traveling from protest to protest. All three of the plaintiffs challenging Louisiana law are ironically from out of state – two from California and one from Texas.

Since coming into service in April, Bayou Bridge Pipeline has been safely transporting crude oil from Texas to St. James Parish. After a rigorous permitting process, the pipeline was approved and is carefully monitored around the clock. Extraneous legal challenges such as this latest lawsuit come at taxpayer expense and only serve to further activists' agenda opposing much-needed energy infrastructure. After all, while activists claim to be fighting for their constitutional rights, the suit was filed against local law enforcement, a private security company, and Bayou Bridge Pipeline LLC – none of which have the ability to change the law.

Randy Hayden

President, Louisianians for Energy

Baton Rouge, La.