Yesterday the Corps of Engineers denied Energy Transfer Partners their permit to place a pipeline beneath Lake Oahe. That is a nice temporary victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. I say temporary because after January 20, 2017 it will be up to President Trump to uphold this decision. Which is doubtful at best.
I say doubtful because the next President happens to own stock in Energy Transfer Partners. So, another of his conflicts of interests will rear its ugly head. And since the CEO of Energy Transfer Partners has said that he is confident Trump will overrule this decision and allow the pipeline to proceed without being rerouted, it would appear the fix is already in.
In a statement on the decision, Jo-Ellen Darcy, the Army’s assistant secretary for civil works, said:
Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do. The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternative routes for the pipeline crossing.
Standing Rock Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II said of the news:
We wholeheartedly support the decision of the administration and commend with the utmost gratitude the courage it took on the part of President Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior to take steps to correct the course of history and to do the right thing.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and all of Indian Country will be forever grateful to the Obama Administration for this historic decision.
National Congress of American Indians President Brian Cladoosby said in an email statement:
My hands go up to all the water protectors who have stood up to protect tribal treaty rights and to protect Mother Earth Thank you for Standing For Standing Rock.
Of course Trump and his fellow Republicans don’t like the ruling. Trump even in another of his tweets after the ruling said “I look forward to ending this anti-energy presidency”.
Somebody should remind Trump that when President Obama took office we had gas prices at $4.00 per gallon. Today it is around $2.00 per gallon. Half of what it was in 2009.
Also, our oil reserves are higher than they have been in decades. Plus, we have more home-grown oil production than we have in decades and we rely less and less on foreign oil. I would like for someone to explain to me how this all explains this “anti-energy presidency” Trump is talking about. It sounds more like an energy friendly presidency.
Trump, Republicans, and oil companies are calling the ruling illegal. They claim the ruling is not following the rule of law. There is a procedure to follow when deciding on these issues. When all of the facts are not in when a ruling is given, the ruling can change according to new information. The protests showed that the people most being affected by the pipeline was never heard. As a result, a new hearing and ruling were both legal and necessary.
I fully expect Trump to do everything he can to make sure this ruling gets cancelled somehow. Plus, he is already looking at how to privatize the reservations. He isn’t going to try to privatize the reservations for the sake of the tribes who live on them, he wants to privatize them so oil and gas companies can get permission to drill for oil and gas on the land without having to go through the full permitting processes that are needed on government property.
The closer we get to inauguration day the more we see that Trump is going to set up a country where corporations have more voice in how things run day-to-day than the people. Everything he is doing so far is in favor of corporations and against the will of the people.
Even his threat to impose a 35 percent tariff on goods shipped in by U.S. companies that make the products overseas is just bluster. Do you really think that he will allow a 35 percent tariff on his own products? All of his products and all of the products sold by his children and wife are all made overseas. Which means they should be part of any 35 percent tariff. Yeah right.
The Standing Rock Sioux received an early Christmas present by the Corps of Engineers to protect their drinking water. Unfortunately, that Christmas present may be revoked in 45 days. The problem with pipelines isn’t whether or not they are the safest way to ship oil. Nor is it that they continuously leak. The problem is that at some point they do leak. The only question is when and how much?
When that leak contaminates drinking water, it will take years before it will be safe to drink again. Water is life. Water is sacred. We need to stop projects that will pollute our water.
This ruling is a step in the right direction. But we cannot trust Trump to do or maintain what is right. He is known for doing and maintaining what is best for his profits over everything and everyone else.
Trump recently tweeted that America Is Open For Business. He should have said America Is For Sale To The Highest Bidder. The one redeeming fact is that if he does reverse this ruling, the Standing Rock Sioux will be back to fight him. We all need to be ready to fight him. Our country is not and never should be for sale.