The Daily Caller News Foundation has obtained video of a prominent environmental activist suggesting anti-oil pipeline protesters are just as brave as American soldiers fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan.
In the video, Josh Michener, a prominent anti-pipeline activist, can be heard saying American soldiers fight for oil, while so-called water protectors are the real heroes because they battle against companies building pipelines.“You want to tell me the soldiers are brave? You want to tell me that fighting for oil is brave?” Michener said at a Jan. 19 demonstration against a pipeline in Texas. He was apparently referring to a common narrative Democrats have used to criticize the Iraq War.
He then compared the veterans’ actions to those of his fellow activists – “Now that’s brave,” Michener can be heard saying as the camera pans in on a small gathering of anti-pipeline demonstrators at the rally.
Michener, a veteran activist who opposes the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), has joined demonstrators as they protest the Transpecos Pipeline, a 148-mile project transporting natural gas through the Big Bend region in Texas.
Seven people were arrested at the protest where the video was filmed — three were charged with felonies and four others were taken in on misdemeanor charges.
The Texas-based activists has made quite a name for himself over the past few months, protesting pipelines in Texas, North Dakota, and Florida.
He has also equated anti-pipeline opposition to a type of spiritual awakening.
“You can say it’s futile, this is a pointless place to be, just a bunch of hippies in the woods. But it’s not just about Florida,” Michener told reporters in January while protesting the Sabal Trail pipeline in Florida.
He added: “You can find a majestic point anywhere in the world and say it’s worth saving but it’s really the fight against these companies. That’s what makes it universal.”
Michener’s activism is part of an overarching mission to scuttle a slew of pipelines under construction around the country.
Environmentalists and members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, for instance, spent months railing against the $3.7 billion DAPL project based on the belief that it will trample tribal grounds and potentially poison the tribe’s primary water supply, the Missouri River and Lake Oahe.
Only a handful of stragglers remain at the DAPL campsites, mostly because President Donald Trump’s decision in January to approve the contested project after the Obama administration scuttled the line in December.
Michener played a hand in the anti-DAPL demonstrations as well as the Sabal Trail Pipeline, a contentious 515-mile natural gas pipeline in Florida that many are calling America’s next Standing Rock.
One section of the line is being laid beneath the Suwannee river, whose pure mineral springs locals say is a natural healer for various diseases and illnesses.