Today, President Donald Trump will scrap key aspects of former-President Obama's climate leadership, as he reportedly plans to sign Executive Orders to move the the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines forward.
TransCanada, the foreign company behind the Keystone XL project, will attempt to use eminent domain to sue American landowners and seize their private property in order to pipe this dirty fuel across the U.S. for export. After Obama rejected the pipeline in 2015, TransCanada sued the U.S. under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) for $15 billion. Despite his previous remarks concerning NAFTA, Trump did not address the company and its lawsuit before approving the project.
Following months of national opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Department of the Army ordered an environmental review of the project in December of 2016. The pipeline was originally proposed to cross the Missouri River just above Bismarck, North Dakota, but after complaints, it was rerouted to cross the river along sacred Tribal grounds, less than a mile from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
Trump had invested in Energy Transfer, the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline. His spokespeople have claimed that he has since divested, but no proof has been presented.
Donald Trump has been in office for four days and he's already proving to be the dangerous threat to our climate we feared he would be. But, these pipelines are far from being in the clear. The millions of Americans and hundreds of Tribes that stood up to block them in the first place will not be silenced and will continue fighting these dirty and dangerous projects.
Trump claims he's a good businessman, yet he's encouraging dirty, dangerous tar sands development when clean energy is growing faster, producing more jobs and has a real future. Trump claims he cares about the American people, but he's allowing oil companies to steal and threaten their land by constructing dirty and dangerous pipelines through it. Trump claims he wants to protect people's clean air and water, but he's permitting a tar sand superhighway that will endanger both and hasten the climate crisis.
The Keystone pipeline was rejected because it was not in the country's interest and the environmental review of the Dakota Access Pipeline was ordered because of the threats it poses to the Standing Rock Sioux. Nothing has changed. These pipelines were a bad idea then and they're a bad idea now.
Simply put, Donald Trump is who we thought he is: a person who will sell off Americans' property and Tribal rights, clean air and safe water to corporate polluters.