In an unexpected turn of events, President Obama has decided to deny the final permit for the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. This is surely to please the Native American tribe within the area that has been protesting the construction of the pipeline for months now. Although the pipeline is nearly complete, Obama decided to halt the final phases of completing the pipeline amid thousands of people coming to the area to protest. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, who led the protestors, has regularly been organizing with various other tribes and people for months now. It appears they have won. However, there is one important question that looms: What will the incoming administration decide to do with the nearly completed pipeline?
That’s right, just because the current administration decided to deny the permit for the final phase of the pipeline, does not mean the Trump administration will. This is obviously a disappointing reality for the locals that have put in an immense amount of time to stop this pipeline from being completed, but it is something the opposition to the pipeline must cope with. Personally, I am against the pipeline, mainly because of the adverse effect it could have on the local’s water supply. Since the pipeline will run under the Missouri River, the primary source for the tribe’s water, it is quite possible the crude oil running through the pipeline could contaminate their water supply if there is a leak.
But, as we all know, the incoming administration is adamantly in favor of big oil and big business. Donald Trump has expressed he is in favor of the constructing the pipeline, assumingly because he has personal financial ties to it, but it remains to be seen if he will move forward with that in light of Obama’s recent denial of the final permit. The soon-to-be president of the United States has invested somewhere between $500,000 and $1 million in Energy Transfer Partners, the company constructing the pipeline.
Trump’s transition team has said that he will review the decision to halt construction when he takes office in January.
Jason Miller, Trump’s spokesman, said: “That’s something that we support construction of and we’ll review the full situation when we’re in the White House and make the appropriate determination at that time”.
Ultimately, it seems like the Trump administration will continue the construction of the pipeline when he takes office; it just fundamentally does not make sense for him to do otherwise. It is so close to being completed along with Trump being personally invested in the project, which makes it even harder for me to think he will go back on his word.
The local tribe is aware that this is not over by any means, but they are hopeful the incoming administration will do the right thing.
The Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux, Dave Archambault, stated: “The current administration did the right thing and we need to educate the incoming administration and help them understand the right decision was made”.
To be continued…
–Contributed by R.A.