BREAKING NEWS: Trump Revives Keystone XL, Advances DAPL, With Executive Orders

(EnviroNews USA Headline News Desk) — Washington D.C. — To the dismay and outrage of environmentalists and clean energy supporters worldwide, on January 24, 2017, President Donald Trump signed two executive orders reopening and advancing the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and Keystone XL (KXL) oil pipelines. Both of these projects were previously halted under the Obama Administration.

In the past, Trump has owned stock in the companies that run the two pipelines, TransCanada (Keystone) and Energy Transfer Partners (DPAL), in two of many instances of potential financial conflicts of interest that plagued his campaign and may undermine the legitimacy of his presidency.

Dakota Access Pipeline Project (DAPL)

DAPL was halted in December 2016 after intense national and international opposition including massive, multi-tribal, on-site protests within the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The protests centered on protecting drinking water, the local environment and the tribe’s cultural ties to the land. The Independent reports, in 2015, Trump owned shares in Energy Transfer Partners LP worth between $500,000 and $1m. While Trump’s spokespeople have claimed he has divested, his camp is yet to provide corroborating evidence to the media. Also, Greenpeace reports Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren donated $100,300 to Trump’s presidential campaign.

According to Inforum, “The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, in a statement, said the $3.8 billion project would contaminate U.S. and tribal water [supplies], and that it intends to take legal action against the decision. Separately, a lawyer for the tribe said the action was being done ‘hastily and irresponsibly.'”

Keystone XL Pipeline

Keystone was rejected in late 2015 when Obama said it “would not serve the national interests of the United States” and “shipping dirtier crude oil into our country would not increase America’s energy security.” TransCanada sued the U.S. in 2015 under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) for $15 billion after the pipeline was rejected. Trump has spoken out against NAFTA in the past and is planning to renegotiate the deal with Canada and Mexico. As EnviroNews reported in 2015, Trump also owned a $250,000 chunk of TransCanada Pipelines Ltd. stock.

While Trump stated during the signing that the pipes for the pipelines would be made in the U.S. and that Keystone would create “28,000 jobs,” most of the positions created in any pipeline development are temporary. As EnviroNews previously explained, Keystone would create around 40 permanent maintenance and operational jobs and the new massive Diamond Pipeline project a mere 15.

WATCH PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SIGN EXECUTIVE ORDERS ADVANCING KEYSTONE XL AND DAKOTA ACCESS PIPELINES

Trump also told reporters both pipelines would be subject to the terms and conditions being renegotiated by the United States. Press Secretary Sean Spicer hinted at this development earlier this week, mentioning both pipelines in a press conference and saying Trump was, “very, very keen in making sure we maximize use of our natural resources to America’s benefit.”

Hours before signing the orders on Tuesday morning, Trump said the decision would be made quickly and also, in typical self-contradictory fashion, that he was an “environmentalist.” Trump has disclosed millions of dollars worth of other fossil fuel investments, including with ExxonMobil, Haliburton and Shell.

Donald Trump’s Fossil Fuel Portfolio in 2015 (According to Lil Sis)

Graphic via Little Sis: Donald Trump’s Fossil Fuel Holdings

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