President-elect Donald Trump says he supports the completion of the Dakota Access pipeline that thousands are braving harsh winter weather to oppose in North Dakota.
A Trump transition team briefing dismissed media reports of Trump owning a stake in the company building the pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP.N). Reuters reported that the team said that Trump’s support for the project, “has nothing to do with his personal investments and everything to do with promoting policies that benefit all Americans.”
It continued, “Those making such a claim are only attempting to distract from the fact that President-elect Trump has put forth serious policy proposals he plans to set in motion on Day One.” The briefing went out to supporters and congressional staff, according to the report.
Protesters say they are opposing plans to route the pipeline under a lake near the Standing Rock Sioux Indian reservation. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is scheduled to address about 2,000 military veterans in protest on Sunday. A black lives matter activist and a Los Angeles screenwriter have organized a four day protest action with the veterans where they will form a human chain with plans to march toward an “encounter.”
U.S. Senator John Hoeven responded to Trump’s support in a statement. “The Obama administration should approve the easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline without delay, and also provide assistance to state and local law enforcement.”
Hoeven charged the Obama administration with delaying the pipeline project. It is this, stated the North Dakota Senator, that led him and others to meet with President-elect Trump’s transition team to discuss an easement for the pipeline as well as other issues.
“Today, Mr. Trump expressed his support for the Dakota Access Pipeline, which has met or exceeded all environmental standards set forth by four states and the Army Corps of Engineers,” stated Hoeven. “Also, it is important to know that the new administration will work to help us grow and diversify our energy economy and build the energy infrastructure necessary to move it from where it is produced to where it is needed. The result will be more jobs, a more vibrant economy and affordable energy for the American people.”
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