It is just day four of his presidency, and already Trump is taking a sledgehammer to the environment: Trump is set to sign two executive actions today “that would advance construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines,” Bloomberg reported moments ago. The Keystone project was rejected under former President Barack Obama.
According to the report, Trump’s move on Energy Transfer Partners LP’s 1,172-mile Dakota Access project aims to end a standoff that has stalled the project since September, when the Obama administration halted work on land near Lake Oahe in North Dakota.
The move marks a major departure from the Obama administration’s handling of the controversial oil pipelines. The steps vividly illustrate Trump’s plan to give the oil industry more freedom to expand infrastructure and wreck the environment in the process.
We expect an angry reaction from environmental protest groups, who will double down in their defense of the two pipelines, of which the Dakota Access was the prominent center of media attention last year.