Indigenous Leaders Call for Mass Resistance Against Trump’s Orders to Revive Oil Pipelines

Native groups and environmentalists have called for civil disobedience against Trump’s resumption of Keystone and Dakota Access, two of the largest fossil fuel extraction projects in history

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Story Transcript

JAISAL NOOR: U.S. President Donald Trump signed two Executive Actions on Tuesday to advance construction of the Keystone XL, and Dakota Access pipelines. Two massive fossil fuel extraction projects that had ignited historic Native American, environmental, and grassroots opposition, that prompted former President Barack Obama to block them.

DONALD TRUMP: Okay. Keystone Pipeline. With respect to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, Dakota Access Pipeline, again, subject to terms and conditions to be negotiated by us.

JAISAL NOOR: In response, indigenous leaders called for allies to stand up where they are. Mass civil disobedience, as showing of solidarity for Standing Rock — against pipelines that threaten their water supplies, way of life and environment.

The Real News will be reporting on a 5:00 p.m. rally, against Trump’s move in D.C. The Energy Lobby, which has close ties to Trump’s administration, praised the move. But environmental and indigenous groups swiftly pledged resistance. Trump had previously expressed support for the projects. He’s promised unfettered fossil fuel extraction, and its close financial ties to the energy industry.

The Indigenous Environmental Network responded to Trump’s statement by saying, “These actions by President Trump are insane and extreme, and nothing short of attacks on our ancestral homelands as indigenous peoples…”

Despite facing harsh repression from security forces, in December Water Protectors succeeded in pushing the Obama administration to temporarily halt the Dakota project. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe, whose reservation is adjacent to the proposed Dakota pipeline, won a key victory when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in early December, turned down Energy Transfer Partner’s request for an easement to tunnel under the nearby Missouri River.

Most of the pipeline was complete by the summer of 2016, except for a small section under Lake Oahe, a reservoir that forms part of the river. The army later said it would begin an environmental assessment that could delay the project further. It was not immediately clear if Trump’s order superseded that move.

The Real News has extensively reported on the powerful interests backing the Dakota Access pipeline.

HUGH MACMILLAN: It’s a tangle of oil and gas companies, big banks, and think tanks. And even the Department of Energy that has succeeded in equating widespread fracking with energy security. Six banks alone, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, and Wells Fargo — they own $200 billion — in oil and gas industry loans. And they expect to be paid back over the coming decades through widespread fracking.

JAISAL NOOR: DeSmogBlog’s Steve Horn has also uncovered links between the pipeline, and Donald Trump.

STEVE HORN: Through his main energy advisor, who is Harold Hamm, he has a direct connection, actually, to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

JAISAL NOOR: Former President Barack Obama rejected TransCanada Corp’s Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would bring Canadian crude from Alberta into the U.S. Gulf in 2015, after environmentalists campaigned against the project for more than seven years. TransCanada declined for an immediate comment.

WOUNDED KNEE: Gotta go through many, many sacred sites and sacred rivers and sacred mountains of indigenous people. We’re calling on all nations, all Native American nations, tribes, bands and family clans to come and join, to stop the Keystone Pipeline going through sacred sites and burial grounds of our ancestors.

JAISAL NOOR: The U.S. oil production boom in recent years has resulted in fewer imports of crude oil. As The Real News has reported, Trump has an ally in Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, on resuming the Keystone XL Pipeline.

STEVE HORN: Now, in the United States, though, is an ally on Keystone XL — Donald Trump ran on a campaign promise to restart the Keystone XL, get the negotiations going again around that between the U.S. and Canada.

JAISAL NOOR: Stay tuned to therealnews.com’s ongoing coverage of the resistance, to both the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines. For The Real News, this is Jaisal Noor.

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