WASHINGTON, Jan. 24, 2017— President Trump signed executive orders today to push ahead with the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. Both projects sparked widespread opposition and protests, especially because of their risks to water, wildlife, climate and people.
“Donald Trump is wasting no time in digging up two of the worst oil industry projects in the past decade and trying to rush them out the door,” said Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity. “If it wasn’t clear before that Trump is acting at the behest of the oil industry, it certainly is now.”
Keystone XL would stretch across hundreds of miles and carry up to 35 million gallons of oil every day from Canada’s tar sands — one of the dirtiest energy sources in the world — to refineries in Texas. Most of it would be exported.
“Anyway you look at it, the Keystone XL pipeline is an environmental disaster. Not only does it dig us deeper into the climate crisis, but the State Department predicts it could spill oil up to 100 times during its lifetime,” Suckling said. “It’s despicable to see President Trump gleefully put this project back on the table — call it the rewards of a corrupt system that puts profits over people and wildlife.”
The Dakota Access Pipeline has been opposed by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and more than 150 American Indian nations. The pipeline will worsen global warming, desecrate sacred lands essential to the Sioux Nation’s history, culture and identity, and threaten the water supply of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.
“Trump hasn’t even been in office for a week and he’s already ignoring tribal leaders and brave protectors trying to safeguard their land and resources,” Suckling said. “The Dakota Access Pipeline is profoundly wrong on so many levels — but that doesn’t seem to matter to the new president. But he should know: The thousands of people who rose up to fight Keystone XL and DAPL are strong and mobilized, and they aren’t going away.”