JAN 25, 2017 9:41 AM PST

Trump Orders Advancement for Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines

To the sinking despair of all environmentally and human rights minded activists out there, our new president signed yesterday two executive orders promoting the advancement of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines, as well as a third stating that the materials for all future pipelines must be manufactured in the United States.

Trump seems to be following through on his campaign promises to rid the US of anything eco-friendly. The Sierra Club points out that the Trump Administration has deleted the mention of climate change from the official White House webpage. Instead it was replaced with the following wording: “President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan...We must take advantage of the estimated $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, especially those on federal lands...The Trump Administration is also committed to clean coal technology.” Last time I heard, clean coal was an oxymoron.

The irony in these words though falls particularly hard on Native tribes whose lands have been usurped for the building of DAPL. For those like the Standing Rock tribe and their allies who have been fighting the construction of these pipelines, the news about Trump’s pipeline support, while not a surprise (did I mention he is an investor in DAPL?), comes as a huge blow. But people are not backing down, for the alternative of losing this fight is too grand. Standing Rock Sioux Tribe chairman Dave Archambault II said in a statement, "President Trump is legally required to honor our treaty rights and provide a fair and reasonable pipeline process. Americans know this pipeline was unfairly rerouted towards our nation and without our consent. The existing pipeline route risks infringing on our treaty rights, contaminating our water and the water of 17 million Americans downstream."

According to Forbes, the order for Keystone XL gives TransCanada (NYSE:TRP) the opportunity to re-apply for its cross-border permit, and directs the U.S. State Department to "take all actions necessary and appropriate to facilitate its expeditious review". The order also gives the State Department 60 days to issue a final decision. Regarding DAPL, the order gives the US Army Corps of Engineers the power to “take all actions necessary and appropriate” to conduct this review and approve the pipeline “in an expedited manner... to the extent permitted by law and as warranted.” Forbes explains, “This could alternatively mean a) the conduct of the new Environmental Impact Statement and the long administrative process related to it continues uninterrupted, b) the Corps of Engineers decides that the review is in fact unnecessary, halts the process, and orders the project to proceed under the existing permits and EIS, or c) Secretary of Defense James Mattis could issue a Secretarial Decision that halts the process and allows the project to move ahead.”

Tom Steyer, the president of NextGen Climate, accused the Trump administration of putting "corporate interests ahead of American interests." "The pipelines are all risk and no reward, allowing corporate polluters to transport oil through our country to be sold on the global market, while putting our air and water at serious risk," he said in a statement.

"What happened today is an attack on our homes," said Jade Begay, a spokeswoman for the Indigenous Environmental Network, which fights against mining and dumping on native lands. "We are going to continue to show up at your home, Donald Trump." In New York City, about 300 protesters gathered outside the Trump International Hotel and Tower, chanting slogans such as "If all lives matter, then Native lives matter" and "You can't drink oil, even in the soil.

Sources: CNN, NBC (1) (2), The Free Thought Project, Forbes

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
APR 03, 2020
Earth & The Environment
APR 03, 2020
Where do the fish go? Tracking deep-sea migrations
Can you imagine the swaths of animal migrations taking place in the underwater depths of the oceans? New research publis ...
APR 19, 2020
Earth & The Environment
APR 19, 2020
Enough is enough.
Who are we kidding? All these far-fetched climate change solutions aren’t actually helping anybody – if anyt ...
APR 22, 2020
Earth & The Environment
APR 22, 2020
5 Things You Didn't Know About Earth
Happy Earth Day! All though we should take action every day to appreciate our home, planet Earth. Today it gets a little ...
APR 30, 2020
Earth & The Environment
APR 30, 2020
New Study Reveals Amount of Microplastics on Seafloor
Microplastics—the often microscopic plastic particles resulting from the breakdown of large plastic items or mater ...
MAY 06, 2020
Earth & The Environment
MAY 06, 2020
Mapping the Cities of the Future
A study published in the journal Nature Communications has predicted the cities of the future with data science. In an e ...
MAY 15, 2020
Technology
MAY 15, 2020
New Method for Clean Energy Usage
A study published in the journal Energy and Environmental Materials discusses new technology that may bring us a step cl ...
Loading Comments...