Trump orders revival of Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines

Donald Trump was sharply criticised by Native Americans and climate change activists on Tuesday after he signed executive orders to allow construction of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL oil pipelines.
Both pipe projects had been blocked by Barack Obama’s administration, partly because of environmental concerns. But Trump has questioned the science of climate change and campaigned on a promise to expand energy infrastructure and create jobs.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said an “energy revolution” was taking place in the US. He claimed that Tuesday’s orders would create “tens of thousands of new jobs” while still making the environment “a priority”.
Trump would sit down with all parties involved in the Dakota pipeline, Spicer said, and has “shown through his business life he knows how to negotiate a great deal”.
Trump also signed the executive order for the Dakota Access pipeline, a $3.7bn project that would transport crude oil from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to a shipping point in Illinois, “again, subject to terms and conditions to be negotiated by us”.
The Standing Rock Sioux tribe, whose reservation is adjacent to the pipeline, staged protests that drew thousands of climate change activists to the rural area of Cannon Ball, North Dakota. Most of the pipeline was complete by last summer except for a small section under Lake Oahe, a reservoir that forms part of the river.
The Sioux won a significant victory late last year when the US army corps of engineers declined to allow construction of the pipeline under the lake, saying alternative routes needed to be considered.
On Tuesday, the Sioux said the pipeline risked contaminating tribal and American water supplies while disregarding treaty rights. “President Trump is legally required to honor our treaty rights and provide a fair and reasonable pipeline process,” said Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.
“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.”

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