Even as water protectors and their allies celebrate their victory in securing an alternate route for the Dakota Access Pipeline, a new threat lurks right around the corner. After months of protest and increasing police violence, the US Army has denied the request to build an easement beneath Lake Oahe, indefinitely delaying the construction of DAPL. But the supporters of the pipeline will soon have a new powerful ally in the Oval Office as Donald Trump assumes the presidency. Last week, Trump officially announced that he supports completing the pipeline, but his investments in DAPL raise questions as to whether his personal financial stake in the project will influence his public policy decisions.
Trump maintains a stake in Energy Transfer Partners, the company that is leading construction of the piepline, as well as Phillips 66, which holds it own share in DAPL. Moreover, CEO of Energy Transfer Partners Kelcy Warren has been a prolific Republican donor, giving nearly $169,000 to the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee. Trump’s opaque and complicated financial ties to businesses and governments around the world add another layer of uncertainty to an already unpredictable presidency. The president-elect has reportedly leaned on his new power to further his business career by pressuring Scotland to abandon wind farms against whichTrump once crusaded. His skepticism of climate change also indicates that environmental policies under a Trump administration will be firmly pro-fossil fuel.
For their part, Team Trump denies any appearance of corruption. Trump’s position on DAPL “has nothing to do with his personal investments and everything to do with promoting policies that benefit all Americans,” read a note sent to campaign and congressional staff. “Those making such a claim are only attempting to distract from the fact that President-elect Trump has put forth serious policy proposals he plans to set in motion on Day One.”
Via the Independent