President Donald Trump has signed yet another executive order. This time, it is to revive the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and Keystone XL Oil Pipeline. The executive order comes in his first few days as the US President. It also threatens to undo the work done by his predecessor in the area of environment and climate change. However, like everything else, these two projects are up for renegotiation under the new administration.
Trump’s executive order directs the US Army Corps to review and permit the DAPL at the earliest and as permitted by law. It also invites Keystone XL to resubmit its application. The President also signed another executive order to speed up time taken to conduct environmental reviews for “high priority infrastructure projects.” In addition, Trump signed yet another order that made it compulsory for companies behind the two projects to use US-made raw materials, in this case, steel pipes.
Signing orders to move forward with the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines in the Oval Office. pic.twitter.com/OErGmbBvYK
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 24, 2017
An article in News.com.au states that the order about US-made materials reinforces his “America First” principle. It also ensures jobs to American citizens and “put(s) a lot of steel workers back to work.” Trump was supportive of the pipeline projects since the very beginning of his campaign. He had often said that the projects should be completed, states a Reuters report. He even promised to revive them if he won the elections. And as promised the President has made good on his campaign promise. Sean Spicer, White House press secretary told the reporters that the two projects will help the government to increase jobs, and improve economic growth. Additionally, he said that the projects were good for American energy, informs an article in the Washington Post.
TransCanada, the company behind Keystone XL Pipeline, is currently in process of refiling its application. However, even before it had been rejected, the company planned to source 65 percent of the steel from US. It planned to source remained material from Canada.
America’s oil and energy industries have hailed Trump’s recent executive order. Many dubbed his order as the first step in making American energy great again. There were others, who said they were happy to see that Trump administration had recognized the importance of the country’s energy infrastructure. However, environmental groups slammed the decision as they along with members of the Standing Rock Sioux and other tribes vowed to continue fighting the project.
Don't be fooled. Dakota Access Pipeline won’t help us gain energy independence or even jobs. It's about profit with 18 million put at risk
— ♻️ Christopher Zullo (@ChrisJZullo) January 24, 2017
An article in New York Daily News quoted Sierra Club, Executive Director, Michael Brune saying that the only people who profited from projects were rich, international oil companies, their allies and nominees for President Trump’s rigged cabinet. Dave Archambault, Chairman of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation chimed in saying that they did not oppose energy independence. They only opposed politically motivated development projects that ignored their treaty rights and risked water.
An article in CNN states that DAPL project seeks to transport from North Dakota to Illinois via South Dakota and Iowa. Bakken Oil Pipeline is another name for the DAPL project, which, if completed would transport around 470,000 barrels of crude oil a day through an underground pipeline. This, according to the owners of the DAPL project would make US less dependent on the world. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is opposed to the final stretch of construction that falls under Lake Oahe. This is because the construction would disturb their sacred burial and archeological site. It would also jeopardize the water source.
About Keystone XL pipeline and why Obama administration did not approve it
TransCanada owns the Keystone pipeline. The Keystone pipeline transports oil from Nebraska. The pipeline made headlines for its Keystone XL project, which is Phase 4 of the project. Under Phase 4, the company aimed to duplicate phase 1 pipeline between Canada and Nebraska. The company wanted to use a pipe of larger diameter and a shorter route, states the projects Wikipedia page. However, President Obama denied permission to TransCanada as the project would have added on to climate change. This is because the pipeline carried tar sands crude oils, which is greenhouse intensive.
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