Op-ed: Hollywood’s attack on the Dakota Access Pipeline is high-flying hypocrisy

The Washington Times featured an op-ed from GAIN spokesman Craig Stevens in which he discusses the hypocrisy a group of Hollywood actors demonstrated in a letter to President Biden urging him to shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline. The stars called for DAPL’s shut down in the name of climate change, despite their own lavish travel habits made possible by oil and gas:

“The signers are some of the most frequent patrons of the private jet industry—a form of travel that emits about 40 times as much carbon per passenger as commercial flights. Yet, cutting back on their private jet travel doesn’t appear to be part of their agenda. These silver screen personalities want to have their jet fuel and kill it too.”

Stevens also highlights the many benefits infrastructure projects like DAPL and the broader energy industry provide to the economy and hardworking Americans:

“The U.S. oil and gas industry supports over 10 million American jobs and creates about eight percent of our nation’s GDP. While those jobs might not afford the private travel Hollywood’s elite enjoy, these are good paying jobs that are creating growth across every sector of our economy and every corner of our country. That reality should not be lost on the Biden administration as it seeks to foster recovery to help Americans who are out of work and facing lost wages and business closures in the wake of the global pandemic.”

Approximately 7,400 direct, indirect, and induced jobs would be lost if a DAPL shutdown were to occur, according to the American Petroleum Institute. Not only do pipeline projects help provide job opportunities for many, but they are also the safest form of transportation for oil and gas. Last week, an explosion occurred in Texas when a semi-truck collided with a train carrying gasoline and coal. The accident raised concern among many, including North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak:

“It is concerning to think that we’re going to have to go back to the less desirable, less safe, less environmentally sound way of transporting crude oil if Dakota Access is shut down. I hope that’s not the case.”

Fedorchak noted before the operation of the DAPL, 14 fully loaded trains would depart from North Dakota every day. This creates a heightened risk across Iowa, Illinois, and North Dakota. But not the sunny, luxury Beverly Hills neighborhood in California. Perhaps Hollywood celebrities should consider that before cheering for the shutdown of a pipeline in another state.