WASHINGTON – A top executive at the company building the controversial Dakota Access pipeline is comparing pipeline opponents to terrorists.
Joey Mahmoud, executive vice president of Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, says protesters have "assaulted numerous pipeline personnel," destroyed millions of dollars' worth of construction equipment and even fired a pistol at law enforcement during months of demonstrations against the 1,200-mile pipeline, which will carry North Dakota oil to an Illinois terminal.
Mahmoud tells Congress that the protest movement "induced individuals to break into and shut down pump stations on four operational pipelines. Had these actions been undertaken by foreign nationals, they could only be described as acts of terrorism."
Mahmoud's comments came in prepared testimony for a hearing Wednesday before the House energy committee. The Associated Press obtained the testimony in advance.