The Corner

Politics & Policy

North Dakota Seeks to Tax Pipeline Protesters Paid to Be There

According to the Washington Times, many of those who have traveled to demonstrate against the Dakota Access Pipeline have been paid for their time. And so North Dakota is gearing up to tax them. After the camp’s sudden growth last summer, a group of often unruly protesters has prompted both a police presence and a cleanup crew. Thus far, the state’s bill has hit $22 million.

Having received no help from the federal government, North Dakota needs to recoup some of those losses. Taxing these “water protectors” and the organizations (Sierra Club and Greenpeace, among others) that compensated them is part of how they hope to do it.

“It’s something we’re looking at. I can tell you I’ve had a number of conversations with legislators regarding this very issue,” said North Dakota tax commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger to the Washington Times. “[We’re] looking at the entities that have potential paid contractors here on their behalf doing work.”

Not only has the protest been a burden to law enforcement, but it also requires a massive cleanup operation. Reuters reports:

Dump trucks and heavy machinery rolled into the protest camp near the site of the Dakota Access Pipeline on Monday, and crews began filling large dumpsters with garbage that has accumulated, much of it now buried under snow.

 . . . 

Those involved said it was not an effort to destroy the camp, which sits on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land, but a move to prevent waste contaminating water sources.

“I’m not going to run people’s camps over. I’m not going to take anyone’s property or do anything like that,” Hans Youngbird Bradley, a construction contractor from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe said during the meeting.

There are dozens of abandoned cars and structures as well as waste at the camp.

“It is paramount for public safety, and to prevent an environmental disaster, that the camps be cleared prior to a potential spring flood,” said North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, a Republican who supports the completion of the pipeline, in a statement.

The irony is inescapable: A protest to ensure water purity has forced others to perform an actual environmental cleanup. After all that work, the least the professional protesters could do is properly file North Dakota tax forms.

Most Popular

World

Ilhan Omar’s Big Lie

In a viral exchange at a congressional hearing last week, the new congresswoman from Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, who is quickly establishing herself as the most reprehensible member of the House Democratic freshman class despite stiff competition, launched into Elliott Abrams. She accused the former Reagan official ... Read More
U.S.

Questions for Those Who Believed Jussie Smollett

The “we reported the Jussie Smollett case responsibly” contention has been blasted to smithereens. Twitter accounts and headlines in the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times reported as fact Jussie Smollett’s wildly implausible allegations, and many other journalists did so as ... Read More
PC Culture

Fake Newspeople

This week, the story of the Jussie Smollett hoax gripped the national media. The story, for those who missed it, went something like this: The Empire actor, who is both black and gay, stated that on a freezing January night in Chicago, in the middle of the polar vortex, he went to a local Subway store to buy a ... Read More
U.S.

White Progressives Are Polarizing America

To understand how far left (and how quickly) the Democratic party has moved, let’s cycle back a very short 20 years. If 1998 Bill Clinton ran in the Democratic primary today, he’d be instantaneously labeled a far-right bigot. His support for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Defense of Marriage Act, ... Read More