Trump's Personal Investments Ride on Completion of Dakota Access Pipeline
Donald Trump's surprise election win has encouraged Energy Transfer Partners's Kelcy Warren, the CEO of the parent company of Dakota Access LLC, which is building the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). In an interview with CBS This Morning, Warren said he is "100 percent" confident that the president-elect will help the company finish the project.
The Standing Rock Sioux and their allies have been trying to block the controversial project since spring. The planned route cuts through the Missouri River, and protestors fear that a potential spill will contaminate the tribe's main source of drinking water and destroy sacred sites.
More than 80 percent of the pipeline has already been constructed. The final phase is an easement to build a tunnel beneath the federally protected river, but it first needs approval from the Obama administration.
"We will get this easement and we will complete our project," Warren insisted in his CBS interview.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is mulling alternative routes and has requested a temporary halt to the $3.8 billion project but Dakota Access LLC is pushing ahead with construction. According to a Nov. 8 release, the company said it is "currently mobilizing horizontal drilling equipment to the drill box site" and will commence drilling activities upon completion of mobilization in about two weeks.
Yesterday, Army Corps's Omaha office said it was "concerned" that the company plans to continue building despite the Corps's request.
Trump has not spoken about the DAPL but holds stocks that are directly funding the Dakota Access Pipeline. According to Trump's financial disclosure forms, The Guardian reported that he has invested between $500,000 and $1 million in Energy Transfer Partners.
Warren said he has "never met" Trump but has donated $103,000 to his presidential campaign. He believes the DAPL will result in cheaper oil and more jobs.
Warren, however, brushed off any leak concerns: “I'm not gonna win that argument with you because pipelines do leak. It's rare. I think the chances of this pipeline leaking is extremely remote."
The Texas businessman went on to say that the protestors "will not stop our project, that's naive."
DAPL opponents have also responded to Trump's win. Standing Rock Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II told Yes! Magazine the day after the election he hopes that the new commander-in-chief will be sympathetic:
"We have to be hopeful and mindful that the new president understands what we're about. We're about protecting our future. And that's what he should be about. He should think, How can I protect my future so that 50 years from now, 100 years from now, there's something there? And that if we continue to do what we're doing at the pace that we're doing it, in 50 years we're going to see mass destruction because Mother Earth cannot sustain herself with all the activity that's taking place.
"So if there's an understanding of that, we can build relationships, and we can work together on how to make this place better and to salvage what is left."
By Itai Vardi
A recent intensification in protests against Williams Partners' planned Atlantic Sunrise pipeline in Pennsylvania prompted a state senator to propose legislation aimed at limiting demonstrations.
Last month, Pennsylvania Sen. Scott Martin (R-Norman) announced his intention to introduce legislation that would pass the costs of law enforcement responding to protests onto the demonstrators. Martin also helped introduce a different bill that would criminalize protests at natural gas facilities.
The so-called "first and last mile" problem is one of the biggest hurdles with public transportation. How do you encourage more people to take Earth-friendlier commutes when their homes are miles away from the train or bus station?
One solution, as this Estonian electric scooter company proposes, is to simply take your commute with you—literally. Tallinn-based Stigo has developed a compact e-scooter that folds to the size of a rolling suitcase in about two seconds.
[Editor's note: I'm still in shock after hearing the news that Lucia Grenna passed away in her sleep last week. When we first met in April of 2014 at a Copenhagen hotel, I was immediately taken by here powerful presence. We spent the next couple days participating in a Sustainia climate change event where Lucia presented her audacious plans to connect people to the climate issue. I had the chance to partner with Lucia on several other projects throughout the years and work with her incredible Connect4Climate team. I was always in awe of her ability to "make the impossible possible." Her spirit will live on forever. — Stefanie Spear]
It is with a heavy heart that Connect4Climate announces the passing of its founder and leading light, Lucia Grenna. Lucia passed peacefully in her sleep on June 15, well before her time. We remember her for her leadership and extraordinary ability to motivate people to take on some of the greatest challenges of our time, not least climate change.
By Stacy Malkan
Neil deGrasse Tyson has inspired millions of people to care about science and imagine themselves as participants in the scientific process. What a hopeful sign it is to see young girls wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the words, "Forget princess, I want to be an astrophysicist."
As Trevor Noah noted during The Daily Show episode last night (starts at 2:25), the real reason Trump has these rallies is to "get back in front of his loyal crowds and feed of their energy." Noah believes that "Trump supporters are so on board with their dude he can say anything and they'll come along for the ride."
By Katie O'Reilly
Two years ago—long before coal became one of the most dominant and controversial symbols of the 2016 presidential election—Bloomberg Philanthropies approached production company RadicalMedia with the idea of creating a documentary exploring the U.S. coal mining industry. Last spring, they brought on Emmy-nominated director Michael Bonfiglio, tasked with forging a compelling story out of the multitudes of facts, statistics and narratives underlying the declining industry.