Oil Change International

Exposing the true costs of fossil fuels

“If you want to stand with Standing Rock, now is the time”

White house KXL

C: White House Twitter feed

If anyone was in any doubt about whether Donald Trump would be a willing puppet of the fossil fuel industry once in office, yesterday he made his intentions clear. He intends to be Big Oil’s puppeteer in chief.

Ignoring climate change and trampling on the rights of Indigenous peoples, the President signed executive orders on the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines (see picture).

“It’s going to put a lot of workers, a lot of steelworkers, back to work,” said the president. “We will build our own pipeline. We will build our own pipes. … Like we used to in the old days.”

This is so simplistically short-sighted that it is frightening. You can have all the jobs you want but if you have runaway climate change, dirty air and water, jobs won’t really matter in the end.

It is becoming increasingly clear that Trump – like the Brexiters in Britain – hark back to a mystical time in the fifties when life was simplistically good. The only problem with this is two fold –it never existed in the first place and even if it did, its sixty years ago and the world has long since moved on.

In the sixty years since the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached record levels.

As the Badlands National Park twitter feed defiantly noted yesterday: “The pre-industrial concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 280 parts per million (ppm). As of December 2016, 404.93 ppm.”

Trump might ignore the science and the evidence, but like King Kanute he can’t hold back the tide of climate change impacts.

In his simple “America-first” attitude Trump also signed an order promoting the use of American-made steel for oil pipelines. Sounds good on paper, but wrong in practice. As my colleague Lorne Stockman pointed out yesterday, the move “has myriad implications that will likely cancel out whatever benefits Trump thought he might be conferring on the U.S. economy and workers.”

As Lorne notes: “Back in 2011, researchers at Cornell University studying the spurious jobs claims being made about the Keystone XL project, found that while nearly half the project’s steel had already been contracted, none of the primary input materials were being made in the U.S. Nearly 80% of the steel contracted by TransCanada for the project at that point – 40% of the total needed for the pipeline – was being manufactured in Canada by a Russian-owned company. The other 20% contracted at the time was to be imported from India.”

The other thing is that Trump seriously underestimates the environmental movement and Indigenous rights movement which has found a renewed energy and common purpose with KXL and the Dakota Access pipelines.

“A powerful alliance of Indigenous communities, ranchers, farmers, and climate activists stopped the Keystone and the Dakota Access pipelines the first time around, and the same alliances will come together to stop them again if Trump tries to raise them from the dead,” said Greenpeace USA Executive Director, Annie Leonard.

She added: “Instead of pushing bogus claims about the potential of pipelines to create jobs, Trump should focus his efforts on the clean energy sector where America’s future lives.”

David Turnbull, Campaigns Director at Oil Change International said: “Both the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines will never be completed, no matter what President Trump and his oil-soaked cabinet try to do … We stopped Keystone XL and Dakota Access before and we’ll do it again. These are fights Trump and his bullies won’t win.”

The Indigenous Environmental Network added that it was “alarmed” by the announcement, saying: “These actions by President Trump are insane and extreme, and nothing short of attacks on our ancestral homelands as Indigenous peoples. The actions by the president today demonstrate that this Administration is more than willing to violate federal law that is meant to protect Indigenous rights, human rights, the environment and the overall safety of communities for the benefit of the fossil fuel industry.”

It is still unclear if Trump still actually owns shares in Energy Transfer, the company building the Dakota Access pipeline. Having sold most of his shares, the press are reporting that he still held $50,000 last summer. No one knows what is the case now. Trump’s Energy Secretary pick, former Texas Gov Rick Perry, is also a paid board member of Energy Transfer Partners.

Likewise the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its supporters are vowing to resist the Executive order: “President Trump is legally required to honor our treaty rights and provide a fair and reasonable pipeline process,” said Standing Rock Sioux tribal chairman Dave Archambault.

Others were equally outraged: Linda Black Elk, a member of the Catawba Nation who works with the Standing Rock Medic & Healer Council, said: “We can’t back down now. We have to continue to stand to protect the water for future.”

Xhopakelxhit, a member of the Nuu Chah Nulth, Coast Salish and Cree issued a plea for support, adding: “If you want to stand with Standing Rock, this is the time people should be there.”

Comments (23)

  1. Michelle Raine says:

    We can’t drink oil and we have seen that these pipelines fail and are almost impossible to clean up. We have to keep this stuff in the ground and fight the new administration policies.

  2. Debra Darden-Munsell says:

    Water is life.
    Stand with Standing Rock.

  3. JM Aurnague says:

    NOW IS THE TIME TO STOP THE PIPELINES AND EVALUATE THE WATER COSTS & PEOPLE’S RIGHTS TO CLEAN WATER!! A PRESIDENT WHO CARES FOR THE PEOPLE & THE WATER & ENVIRONMENT IS WHO WE NEED!!
    NO DAPL!!! MNI WICONI!!!

  4. JM Aurnague says:

    WHAT I FIND THE MOST DISTURBING IS THAT, THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM IS THE HUGE CONFLICT OF INTERESTS PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS WITH DAPL. HE IS HIGHLY FINANCIALLY INVESTED IN IT AND AS PRESIDENT, HE IS ABLE TO SIGN IT THROUGH! THIS IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND IMPEACHABLE. THE PRESIDENT IS NOT TO PROFIT OVER SUCH SITUATIONS, AS WELL AS, MANY HE HAS HERE AND OVER SEAS. WHY IS THIS BEING IGNORED AND THE GOVERNMENT ACTING AS IF EVERYTHING IS LEGAL & UPSTANDING??

  5. Lorna Fultz-Lind says:

    Water is life, save Mother Earth.

  6. Dee Royce says:

    This is the take over of the NWO that the OIL Bushes talked about and has been planned for for decades since after WWII. NEVER will the Masses allow the death of all species, and citizens with souls for the dollar demons. The duopoly has been outed and the masses are awake and our souls are united in Prayer for all from all WORLDS to come and join us ALL for the new Dawning! WE have known it for a long time but those who are still steeped in deadly denial will also awaken.

  7. Trump has great finical interest in oil, and in particular this pipeline. This is unconstitutional. He and Congress are NOT above the law! Both are continuinualy making and signing bills for what is in “their” personal best interests NOT it the people’s. This NEEDS to be stoped immediately.

  8. Lavonne Hudnall says:

    Since the beginning “Water” has been the key to existence. As those that live on our sacred Mother Earth, both 2 legged and 4 legged brothers and sisters are made up of 55-71% water. We must drink water to survive. And when new life is created, the female of our species carry the young in a bag of water for 9-10 months before delivering.
    Indigenous culture reminds us that Mother Earth does not belong to us. We belong to her, as her children. She is the embodiment of life, our rivers and streams her veins. And water her blood. As her children we have a responsibility to protect her, for future generations. Not violate her, or cause mass destruction leaving her injured and in need of healing. These pipelines are a violation on Mother Earth, as the drawn the black death from below her surface in the name of progress (profit). By prophecy of both the Hopi and Lakota tribes this black death will be identified as the black snake. And all tribes shall unite to stop it. A gathering of all, tribes of many colors- The Rainbow Warriors. Lead by the Youth (The 7th Generation)
    We are given one Earth, and life within the soil and water . Why are we allowing greed to destroy our childrens children’s future? When there are several renewable energy options?
    Only when the last tree is cut down,
    When the last fish is caught,
    When the last stream is poisoned,
    Will we then realize We Can’t Eat Money?
    Wake up people! Stand up to the destruction! Turn away the Greed! For we are stronger together, as One!
    It’s time for a change, will you be part of the solution? Or will you be part of the problem?

  9. Hilda Gandia says:

    This subject is so sickening and so wrong in so many levels. Why? Because even a small child knows how essencial and at-most necessary is the water(WATER IS LIFE)!!! If we don’t have water we, the earth, the animals, EVERTHING WILL DIE, so its not even a question of should we or shouldn’t we. We don’t have a choice here. WE NEED WATER PERIOD, BECAUSE WE CAN’T LIVE WITH OIL IN OUR SYSTEMS. WE DRINK WATER NOT OIL, WE NEED WATER NOT OIL, and that’s what President Trump has to get into his head and into these big oil companies owners heads, because you all are tich and can buy the bottled water, but the rest of us can’t. So I as a citizen, as an American hope he re-evaluate the people’s and his priorities and think before converting AMERICA into an oil country, because in the near future we are All going to regret it. SPECIALLY YOU MR. PRESIDENT. And beside this this is Native American land and they have been betraied for too much and for too long already. PLEASE MR. PRESIDENT DON’T TAKE AWAY STANDING ROCK AWAY FROM THEM, THEY HAVE SUFFERED ENOUGH ALREADY. THANK YOU.

  10. Ingrid Brown says:

    NO DAPL – WATER IS LIFE
    and we can’t drink oil.

  11. Jaime L Oquendo says:

    Homer the treaty’s

  12. Mimi Whalen says:

    Why do you choose greed over the future of my grandchildren and, even worse, your own grandchildren?? What. part of this disaster do ou not understand?? STOP!!!

  13. Nancy Schmitz says:

    We cannot drink oil. Clean energy promotes jobs,too. He is invested in big oil. He is going to ruin this country.

  14. Tracy quick says:

    Dapl must be stopped before millions of acres of prime agriculture land in Nebraska and Kansas are ruined by this dirty oil entering the underground aquifer that lies beneath these two states. This is one reason Nebraska voted no.
    This president has a conflict of interest with the Dakota access pipeline and should be required by the supreme court to distance himself until these interests can be sold.
    I also believe that this president has put this country in imminant danger with his eagerness to do too much too Quick. He has broken the constitution and should be brought up on charges and impeachment proceedings should begin forthwith. Any leader that puts his own personal gain before the people of the United states is sorely misplaced in His position. He has broken treaties with the American natives and shown the world what he calls the correct use of power.
    Thank you and God Bless America.

  15. Tammy says:

    No amount of boiling can purify oil contaminated water. We should, we need to. Stop relying on oil. Electric, solar, wind. None of those would kill the living things around it.

  16. Ellen Mclemore says:

    The time has come to put aside the love of money AND DO WHAT WILL SAVE THIS EARTH SO YOUR CHILDREN & GRANDCHILDREN CAN LIVE!
    Develop CLEAN energy. There can be money to be made as well as many jobs-jobs that pay well! How can a country like Costa Rica get 50% of their energy from CLEAN energy and we don’t? Lacking in forward thinking leadership? Turn it around Mr. Trump!

  17. Liz says:

    It’s time to pursue renewable energy sources instead of deadly oil. Once the planet is dead due to carbon emissions, excessive oil spills, no clean water and no ozone layer left, what will it matter?

  18. Marti Babb says:

    I will not stand down. I am disgusted with both Democrats & Republicans. I stand STEADFAST with our Water PROTECTORS & our Native American FAMILY in this life & beyond! It’s appalling that President Trump & many in his administration are DAPL profiteers claiming to be draining the swamp yet they are filling it.
    I am appalled so many turn their backs or justify the human rights, animal rights civil rights violations in addition to all lies DAPL & Morton County are getting away with. WAKE UP PEOPLE YOU CANNOT DRINK OIL, YOU CANNOT EAT MONEY.
    It’s inconceivable that they consider themselves to be good moral Christians. This Apocalyptic administration sure seems hell bent on killing us all! I have put in thousands of hours of research. We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. I wasn’t able to be a mommy but you bet I’m a Mama Bear & I will always fight for your children’s future.

  19. Debi Adcox says:

    I stand with Standing Rock

  20. Wendy Denby-pascale says:

    NO DAPL….Respect our Water and our Native , Original Americans !! Clean Energy Now !!

  21. Moneka Ola Hurt says:

    We need to stand beside the treaties that were written! Well the white man never stands by there word! I want you to bee the person I Belive you to bee!! Upstanding, Honest, and a president FOR THE PEOPLE!!!

  22. Sherilyn Quesnel says:

    WHAT THE ACTUAL blank is wrong with the US of A this month ? you’re the laughing stock of the world now… you had a wonderful leader now you have Nazi Germany all over again….you guys seriously need to get your act together !
    smh !!

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