It looks like protesters will need to get their “NO DAPL” signs back out and head for North Dakota because Donald Trump is still signing executive orders. According to the Washington Post, the newly inaugurated POTUS has signed orders to advance both the Keystone pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline, a total reversal of Barack Obama’s order to stop the plans just last year.
North Dakota will feel the impact of Donald Trump’s executive order immediately, where Energy Transfer Partners intends to finish the last 1,100-foot stretch of the 1,172-mile pipeline that will run under Lake Oahe. Once completed, the Dakota Access Pipeline will carry oil from North Dakota to Illinois where it will be refined and redistributed.
The DAPL project was protested for several months by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, who would be most affected by the new pipeline if it were to leak in the future. They and other Native American groups have opposed the building of the pipeline, arguing that it will jeopardize their water supply and it will disturb sacred burial grounds.
The Dakota Access Pipeline project was halted back in December, and the plan was to have the Army Corp of Engineers investigate alternate routes that would not endanger reservation land.
Donald Trump’s executive order to continue working on the Keystone XL pipeline is in direct opposition to an order signed by Barack Obama last year. Obama argued that the Keystone XL pipeline would contribute to global warming because of the plans for the pipeline to carry tar sands crude. The extraction of tar sands crude is said to be more greenhouse gas-intensive due to the method of extracting the heavy crude oil.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said on Monday that Donald Trump supported the pipeline projects “like Dakota and the Keystone Pipeline, areas that we can increase jobs, increase economic growth, and tap into America’s energy supply more, that’s something that he has been very clear about.”
According to Spicer, Donald Trump has made it a priority to get projects like the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines going again. Citing economic growth, Spicer said that Trump believes these highly protested projects would be a good way to create jobs. Oil industry executives are excited to have the projects back and agree with the controversial decision to continue the pipelines.
Activists who opposed the plan believe otherwise and have expressed their outrage over Donald Trump’s executive order to continue the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. Greenpeace Executive Director Annie Leonard released a statement condemning the president’s reversal.
“We all saw the incredible strength and courage of the water protectors at Standing Rock, and the people around the world who stood with them in solidarity,” Leonard said. “We’ll stand with them again if Trump tries to bring the Dakota Access Pipeline, or any other fossil fuel infrastructure project, back to life.”
“We will resist this with all of our power and we will continue to build the future the world wants to see.”
Donald Trump’s executive orders to advance work on the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines are just a part of the five orders that the president has signed since being sworn into office. Trump has commented that he believes “the regulatory process in this country has become a tangled up mess. His plans to untangle that mess, or to push through projects that are believed to be potentially disastrous to the environment are already upsetting environmental advocates. Many of those advocates have already promised to continue protesting plans to complete the pipeline projects.
[Featured Image by Getty Images Pool]