The Powerful Interests Backing the Dakota Access Pipeline
TRNN Replay: After the Obama admin. temporarily halts the Dakota Access Pipeline, we replay a story examining the financial and political interests backing it
JAISAL NOOR, TRNN: Members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, and other Native American nations in solidarity with them, have vowed to oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline. Even if they lose a critical court decision on Friday.
We speak to an author of a new investigation that’s uncovered the powerful banking interests backing the project, while new reports have revealed close ties to both major presidential candidates.
The largest convergence of Native American tribes in over a century has gathered to oppose
the $3.7 billion pipeline operated by Energy Transfer Partners. They’d be the first to bring Bakken shale along an 1,100-mile route from the North Dakota to the gulf refineries.
While neither Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump has addressed the pipeline directly Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein joined the protests and is now faces charge.
On the northern edge of the Standing Sioux reservation, delegations from more than 100 tribes around the U.S, and Canada are assembled. Most people say they’re optimistic that their prayers to Mother Earth will be heard and that the court will rule in favor of the Standing Sioux. But, few in the camp forget the centuries of broken treaties between the Native nations and the United States.
SPEAKER: Because we’re tired of America. This is an election year. Maybe the people of America should wake up. They’ve breached the trust of the Native people. Breaking the treaties. They acted in bad faith. Those are legal terms. If you fought in a court of law, a breached contract means everything goes back to the way it was. We’re trying to protect this resource for America. Not just for ourselves.
NOOR: The tribe is also going up against one of the most powerful banking institutions in the world according to an investigation by food and water watch.
SPEAKER: It’s a tangle of oil gas companies, big banks, and think tanks, and even the Department of Energy that has succeeded in equating widespread fracking with energy security. 6 banks alone, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, JP 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.
NOOR: DeSmog Blog’s Steve Horn has uncovered links between the Pipeline and Donald Trump.
SPEAKER: Through his main energy advisor who is Harold Hamm has a direct connection to Dakota Access Pipeline. That is because a continental resources, as I found in the latest investor update which was published right at the beginning of September, they have a slide within that points to the fact that the company will have more of a means to move its product. That is oil obtained from fracking in the Bakken Shale, North Dakota. The writers reported that he may become if Donald Trump is elected, the secretary of energy of the United States.
NOOR: While Hillary Clinton hasn’t weighed in on the pipeline, reports have detailed her links to the oil and gas industry.
SPEAKER: The Wall Street Journal reported that she’s actually raised more money directly from the industry. Green Peace through their research earlier this year now during the primary between her and Bernie Sanders pointed to the fact that she’s very well connected industry through her lobbyists bundlers who do fundraising for her and she of course gets a lot of money Wall Street which is very well connected to this pipeline as Food and Water Watch just recently put it through research project that they did. So there’s no question that both candidates have both personnel and campaign finance ties through this project getting billed. Which more broadly points to the fact that its telling that neither of these candidates have spoken a single word yet on this campaign trail about this pipeline project.
NOOR: Dave Archambault II, the tribal chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux, says the tribe plans to press its legal case against Energy Transfer Partners in the event Judge Boasberg rules against them on Friday.
DAVID ARCHAMBAULT II: “We have legal options and we will explore all of them. We will continue to explore every legal option that is available. And, we will continue to fight on the ground, whatever it takes to make sure that our ancestors are respected, our children that are not even born yet will have clean, safe drinking water in the future.”
NOOR: Stay tuned to the Real News for updates on this story. This is Jaisal Noor.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a
recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.