Donald Trump has issued an order giving the green light to two controversial oil pipeline projects: the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline, reports NPR. The move is seen as a boon to the fossil fuel industry, and a rebuke to the Standing Rock Sioux, whose land, culture and water supply are threatened by the Dakota Access Pipeline.
In the last months of his term, President Obama put a temporary halt to the projects by rejecting a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, and by stopping work on the Dakota Access Pipeline. These moves came after months of intense protests by Native American groups and other activists.
Trump’s actions were quickly condemned by the Standing Rock tribe, environmentalists, and their allies. Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock tribe, had this to say, according to Reuters: “Americans know this pipeline was unfairly rerouted towards our nation and without our consent. The existing pipeline route risks infringing on our treaty rights, contaminating our water and the water of 17 million Americans downstream.” The tribe vowed to take legal action to fight Trump’s order.
Senator Bernie Sanders, who has shown consistent support for the Standing Rock Sioux, issued a statement condemning Trump’s actions, saying that Trump has elected to “put the short-term profits of the fossil fuel industry ahead of the future of our planet.”
Restore Progress will continue reporting on this story as it develops.