Eco-terrorist will ask jury to consider his sabotage 'an act of conscience'
An eco-terrorist charged with trying to sabotage part of the Dakota Access Pipeline says he will appeal to the jury to validate his terrorism by asking them to accept his "act of conscience."
Michael Foster will claim that the fossil fuel companies are destroying the Earth and that sabotaging the pipeline was a "necessity."
Foster plans to argue that he was trying to protect the environment from what he believes to be the fossil fuel industry's role in global warming.
"I'm going into this to challenge the jury to use their conscience to consider my act of conscience," Foster said about his plan. The necessity defense is popular among activists.
Attorneys involved with the case, meanwhile, are asking District Judge Laurie Fonataine to toss out Foster's necessity defense.
"Although the defendants may testify what was going through their mind at the time they took the actions they did, the court should prohibit any other presentation of a climate necessity defense or the attempt to turn this into a trial on global warming," assistant North Dakota Attorney General Jon Byers told the judge.
Foster was one of several protesters associated with the group Climate Direct Action in October to warn officials at Enbridge, Kinder Morgan, and TransCanada ahead of time of their intent to take the projects offline. The pipeline in Washington wasn't operating at the time of the attempt.
Foster faces various felony and misdemeanor charges in North Dakota, including criminal mischief, conspiracy, and reckless endangerment. His fellow protesters will be tried later this year for the joint action.
Pipeline developers have been successful in recent cases against environmentalists.
A federal judge determined earlier this year that Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind DAPL, could hide information pertaining to the pipeline's leak points at areas along its route. The judge argued the exception was necessary to prevent possible acts of vandalism in the future.
Foster's act was not just an attack on a private company. His beloved environment would have been severely damaged if he had been successful. It points to the total incoherence of the thinking of many greens, who believe that the Earth is so fragile that a pipeline can damage it.
The fact is, if the Earth were as sensitive to human habitation as the greens say it is, the planet would have been destroyed eons ago. The Earth has absorbed blows from countless comets and asteroids and recovered. The puny efforts of humans to alter the environment pale in comparison to the cosmic shooting gallery Earth is in.
Elevating the environment to the level of religion makes the individual environmentalist into a hero in his own mind. Foster no doubt sees himself that way. But it's doubtful the jury will.