From Native Americans to military veterans hundreds of people have opposed the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and Keystone XL. Protesters have fiercely defended their roots, their sacred land and water.
The $3.7bn huge oil pipeline will cross four states in the western United States, including Iowa, Illinois, and North and South Dakotas. A part of the project is planned under the Missouri River and locals of the nearby tribal areas, including the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, fear it would contaminate their waterways and land.
Recently, Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline projects were halted by the Obama administration.
U.S. army secretary Eric Fanning announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had turned down a permit that would allow the completion of the DAPL. The news was celebrated greatly as it was a sigh of relief for the protestors.
However, the joy of protestors was short lived as President Trump signed orders, earlier this week, advancing the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines just days after assuming office.
Keeping his campaign promises he vowed to renegotiate some of the terms of the Keystone bill.
The decision was condemned by protestors of the pipelines.
“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,” said Standing Rock Sioux Tribe chairman Dave Archambault II.
Environmental advocates were also angered with the President’s decision.
“The pipelines are all risk and no reward, allowing corporate polluters to transport oil through our country to be sold on the global market, while putting our air and water at serious risk,” said Tom Steyer, the president of NextGen Climate.
President Trump’s orders forced people to come out and protest against the pipelines once again.
Some reporters were also stopped by officers from reporting.
Financial disclosures reveal that President Trump has a stake in Energy Transfer Partners, the Texas-based firm behind the pipeline, and Phillips 66, which will hold a share of the project once completed.
However, a spokeswoman for Trump says he sold off his stake in Energy Transfer Partners. The Trump team would not say whether he had sold his stake in Phillips 66, which holds a quarter share of the pipeline.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Stephanie Keith