Under Donald Trump, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have been emboldened to abandon the review of the Dakota Access Pipeline that Barack Obama had ordered, and construction has begun once again on the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Last Wednesday, Energy Transfer Partners said that they had received “all federal authorizations necessary to proceed expeditiously to complete construction of the pipeline,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
The Texas-based company has also stated that they will have the $2.6 billion needed for the pipeline from different loans within a matter of days and suggested that the Dakota Access Pipeline should be fully operational by the month of June. The total cost for this 1,170 mile pipeline comes to $3.8 billion.
There are still continued protests and legal challenges happening with the Dakota Access Pipeline however, and the city of Seattle recently decided to end their partnership with Wells Fargo as the bank is one of the lenders to this pipeline. Wells Fargo manages $3 billion each year for Seattle, but the Seattle City Council had a unanimous vote to sever all ties due to their involvement with Energy Transfer Partners.
CNN Money reports that Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is not pleased with Trump’s decision to continue with the Dakota Access Pipeline and has called it a “political decision.” Furthermore, Murray said that the city of Seattle would “not stand by as tribal citizens are treated as second-class communities.”
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe member Olivia One Feather applauded Seattle’s move and suggested that other cities should do the same to show their support and their opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline, as CNBC noted.
“You have been a city setting the example to the world and I look to you to do that now. When big cities such as this do the right thing, it sparks hope in the world.”
Trump said he had no complaints about the North Dakota Access pipeline so we’re going 2 help him out please call him @ the provided numbers. pic.twitter.com/Vf08bGj8Iz
— RogelioGarcia Lawyer (@LawyerRogelio) February 9, 2017
Now a second city has followed Seattle’s lead, and California’s Davis City Council has also voted to cut all ties with Wells Fargo, according to Governing.
The environmental dangers of putting in the Dakota Access Pipeline are all too real, and the Inquisitr reported how in December 176,000 gallons of oil ended up flooding into a nearby creek just two hours away from where the new pipeline will be built. That oil spill continued for days and left 5.4 miles worth of damage in its wake as it took so long for the spill to even be noticed.
The Dakota Access Pipeline is going ahead fast now that Army officials have said that they will no longer follow a plan which would have seen them preparing an environmental statement on how the new pipeline would affect both land and water. This is due to Donald Trump telling the Army Corp of Engineers to simply create a more expedited review of the easement as Trump is a strong supporter of the fossil fuel industry.
The Chairman of Standing Rock, Dave Archambault II, has said that the tribe will be challenging this decision, as the Washington Post reports.
“We are a sovereign nation and we will fight to protect our water and sacred places from the brazen private interests trying to push this pipeline through to benefit a few wealthy Americans with financial ties to the Trump administration. Americans have come together in support of the Tribe asking for a fair, balanced and lawful pipeline process. The environmental impact statement was wrongfully terminated. This pipeline was unfairly rerouted across our treaty lands. The Trump administration, yet again, is poised to set a precedent that defies the law and the will of Americans and our allies around the world.”
Do you think it was right for Donald Trump to give the go-ahead for the Dakota Access Pipeline without a full environmental study?
[Featured Image by Scott Olson/Getty Images]