Trump Will Be Tested On Dakota Access Pipeline
President-elect Donald Trump will need to tackle one of the most disputed issues of modern America, The Dakota Access oil pipeline. Industry leaders expect a firm decision from the administration. It will be interesting to see how Trump administration handles this situation in January.
Recent events have led to the rapid development of this issue into a dispute. In July, the Energy Transfer Partners received federal permits for the pipeline. The path of the pipeline is the cause of concern for The Standing Rock Sioux tribes. The proposed pipeline goes through Missouri River reservoir in southern North Dakota. It is close to Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The tribe fears that the pipeline threatens its water and cultural sites. The pipeline opponents have been protesting for months at the Oceti Sakowin Camp.
The Pipeline Politics
The pipeline is mostly complete. Only a small section under Lake Oahe needs to be built. It lies a mile upstream of the reservation. The tribe believes that this section would affect the drinking water for the tribe members and millions of people living downstream. The Corps of Engineers granted the necessary permits for the project, but soon the events took a U-turn as the government decided to heed to tribe’s concerns. This Sunday, the Army, refused permit of worth $3.8 billion for a pipeline crossing Missouri River reservoir.
Obama administration has not been firm regarding the issue. After its decision in September to consider the plea of the tribe, it pitched an idea of re-routing the pipeline in November. Most believe that the administration is just delaying the matter until Obama leaves office in January. This would be a big challenge for Trump especially since he owns stocks in Energy Transfer Partners.
On the other hand, the tribal community is protesting strongly despite Army’s decision. And according to Kelcy Warren, the CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, the pipeline will not be rerouted. The company stands firm to stick to its plan.
The Trump Dilemma
With a situation like this, Trump is definitely in for a storm. The question is whether to protect interests of the oil industry leaders or to see the greater good for the tribe. According to Jason Miller, the spokesperson of the President-elect, Trump supports the pipeline construction. Industry leaders are urging to take a firm and immediate decision.
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