Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Leaked Audio: 'Election Night Changed Everything,' Dakota Access Pipeline 'Is Going Through'

Popular

By Steve Horn

Shaun King, a writer for the New York Daily News, has uploaded what appears to be a recorded audio file of Energy Transfer Partners' Chief Operating Officer saying that "election night changed everything" for the company as it relates to its embattled Dakota Access Pipeline.

King stated on social media and on the SoundCloud page on which he posted the file that a source sent him the file on Dec. 13, hours after Matthew Ramsey—COO of Energy Transfer Partners—gave his speech. The source who gave King the audio, he explains on SoundCloud, "claimed to be in a corporate meeting at Energy Transfer Partners" and told him that the person speaking was Matthew Ramsey, the COO of Energy Transfer Partners. King also wrote that the recording was made during a mandatory company meeting.

Listen below:

"I've got to tell you, election night changed everything," Matthew Ramsey, COO of Energy Transfer Partners, apparently said in the 10-minute clip, the authenticity of which DeSmog could not independently verify. "We now are going into a transition where we are going to have a new President of the United States who gets it. He understands what we're doing here and we fully expect that as soon as he gets inaugurated his team is going to move to get the final approvals done and we'll begin to put [Dakota Access] across Lake Oahe."

Dakota Access has yet to receive the easement permit it needs from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in order to cross Lake Oahe, which the company has publicly decried. Ramsey said in the clip, one in which the voice sounds similar to his voice heard in a Nov. 21 company conference call, that it will take about 65 days to cross the lake once they get the permit.

Energy Transfer Partners recently saw one of the members of its Board of Directors, former Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry, nominated as U.S. Secretary of Energy by President-elect Donald Trump. Perry also sits on the Board of Directors of Dakota Access LLC co-owner, Sunoco Logistics.

Two days after the presidential election, Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren expressed a similar sense of jubilation about the prospects for Dakota Access when Trump assumes the White House.

"Having a government that actually backs up what they say that we're going to support infrastructure, we're going to support job creation, we're going to support growth in America, and then actually does it?," Warren told The Dallas Morning News. "My God, this is going to be refreshing."

Warren was a major donor to Perry's short-lived run for president during the Republican Party primary cycle and also served as a major donor to Trump's presidential campaign. Warren also sat on the advisory board for Perry's run for president.

Ramsey and Energy Transfer Partners spokeswoman Vicki Granado did not immediately respond to a request for comment from DeSmog.

Quite a Fight

In the tape, the voice that appears to belong to Ramsey spoke about the political battle ensuing over Dakota Access, which has lasted almost two years and recently stalled temporarily after the Army Corps of Engineers said it needed more time to do a more thorough environmental impact statement for the prospective Lake Oahe easement. The fight against the pipeline has engendered one of the largest cross-tribe mobilizations of Native American people in U.S. history.

"This has been quite a fight here on [Dakota Access]," remarked Ramsey. "So let me just tell you, make no mistake about it, this pipeline is going through. It's going through exactly where we have planned."

He also said Energy Transfer Partners "always, always plays by the rules" as it relates to following the letter of the law for its projects, saying that Dakota Access LLC "crossed every 't' [and] dotted every 'i'" relating to rules and regulations.

Meeting With Police

Police repression has also played a central role in the ongoing Dakota Access fight and so the audio confirms what many likely already thought. That is, law enforcement has worked closely alongside Dakota Access LLC to fend off those fighting against the project.

"We met with some of the officials in North Dakota [during a recent trip to the state]," said Ramsey. "We met with the National Sheriff's Association. People are tired of this. They're tired of seeing what's going on in the community and we think that the tide has turned and people are understanding what a great project this would be for the State of North Dakota. That came right out of the governor's mouth. He's very much in favor of this thing. So, I think we're off and running on [Dakota Access]."

"I know that everybody in this room has had to deal with the protesters. Everybody in this room has had to read on social media the misinformation that's out there. It's not fair. We feel like keeping our head down and doing what we do best, which is to put this pipeline in the ground, is the best thing we can do. We never stopped doing that."

"A lot of times people say to me, and I'd like to answer this question more directly, 'Why don't we just immediately answer back every time something is stated wrong about the company and what we're doing?'," said Ramsey.

Not About Water … Lots and Lots of Money

Concerns about water contamination and a pipeline spill have played a central role in galvanizing support for those who have protested alongside the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Indeed, participants in the protests and encampment call themselves " water protectors." But the audio captures Ramsey dismissing those concerns out of hand, saying it is "not about water" at all.

"And you have to understand and I didn't really understand this until I got deep into it. This is not really about water. This is not about [unintelligible] … this is about environmental activism. And it's nothing more than that."

But as King pointed out, a pipeline spill actually took place the morning Ramsey gave his speech, however. That spill of 176,000 gallons of oil into a creek ensued just 150 miles from the Standing Rock protest site.

Ramsey also alluded to the "Keep It In The Ground" campaign, saying that Dakota Access fit under the umbrella of those demanding to keep all fossil fuels in the ground. Keep It In The Ground, though, did not target the pipeline as part of its broader campaign and focuses on supply, not midstream assets like pipelines.

"These are people that are pushing to keep all fossil fuels in the ground, at every angle. And make no mistake. This is an event that they are using to raise lots and lots of money. If they can create a cause and they can create a lot of publicity, which they've clearly done here, it's an avenue for them to raise money. Not only to fight us on this project, but to fight all infrastructure projects like this in the United States," Ramsey claimed.

"So we'll continue to fight through this thing. But please, please, please be confident in this company. We are going to get this thing through in short order. We couldn't be more confident in that fact. And look for us to be pouring oil through this thing in Spring of next year."

Water is Everything

In a Dec. 11 interview with Fox News' Chris Wallace, Trump said Dakota Access will "start one way or the other" once he takes office, but did not offer any detail beyond that.

Not everyone believes that "election night changed everything," however. Enter Jane Kleeb, founder and president of the Bold Alliance.

"Election night did nothing to change Big Oil from trampling over property rights of farmers and Sovereign rights of Tribal Nations," Kleeb told DeSmog. "For us in the states, in the proposed pipeline routes, water is everything. Our livelihoods, our families, our communities all rely on clean water."

Reposted with permission from our media associate DeSmogBlog.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A forest fire in Yakutsk in eastern Siberia on June 2, 2020. Yevgeny Sofroneyev / TASS via Getty Images

Once thought too frozen to burn, Siberia is now on fire and spewing carbon after enduring its warmest June ever, according to CNN.

Read More Show Less
The Colima fir tree's distribution has been reduced to the area surrounding the Nevado de Colima volcano. Agustín del Castillo

By Agustín del Castillo

For 20 years, the Colima fir tree (Abies colimensis) has been at the heart of many disputes to conserve the temperate forests of southern Jalisco, a state in central Mexico. Today, the future of this tree rests upon whether the area's avocado crops will advance further and whether neighboring communities will unite to protect it.

Read More Show Less
Independent environmental certifications offer a better indicator of a product's eco credentials, including labor conditions for workers involved in production. Flickr / CC by 2.0

By Jeanette Cwienk

This summer's high street fashions have more in common than styles and colors. From the pink puff-sleeved dream going for just €19.99 ($22.52) at H&M, to Zara's elegant €12.95 ($14.63) halter-neck dress, clothing stores are alive with cheap organic cotton.

"Sustainable" collections with aspirational own-brand names like C&A's "Wear the change," Zara's "join life" or H&M's "CONSCIOUS" are offering cheap fashion and a clean environmental conscience. Such, at least, is the message. But is it really that simple?

Read More Show Less
The CDC is warning that people with type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, whole organ transplants, and women who are pregnant could experience more severe outcomes if they contract COVID-19. LeoPatrizi / Getty Images
Read More Show Less

More than 200 Indigenous Nations demonstrated against the Dakota Access Pipeline in Canon Ball, ND on Sept. 2, 2016. Joe Brusky / Flickr

A federal judge ruled Monday that the controversial Dakota Access pipeline must be shut down and drained of oil until a full environmental review of the project is completed.

Read More Show Less
The Yersinia pestis bacteria causes bubonic plague in animals and humans. Illustration based on light microscope image At 1000x. BSIP / UIG Via Getty Images

A herdsman in the Chinese autonomous region of Inner Mongolia was diagnosed with the bubonic plague Sunday, The New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Plant pathologist Carolee Bull works in her home garden in State College, Pennsylvania. Carolee Bull, CC BY-ND

By Matt Kasson, Brian Lovett and Carolee Bull

Home gardening is having a boom year across the U.S. Whether they're growing their own food in response to pandemic shortages or just looking for a diversion, numerous aspiring gardeners have constructed their first raised beds, and seeds are flying off suppliers' shelves. Now that gardens are largely planted, much of the work for the next several months revolves around keeping them healthy.

Read More Show Less