posted at 5:21 pm on December 2, 2016 by John Sexton
Thursday the Trump transition team issued a statement clarifying that President-elect Trump supports the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline. From Reuters:
A communications briefing from Trump’s transition team said despite media reports that Trump owns a stake in Energy Transfer Partners (ETP.N), the company building the pipeline, Trump’s support of the pipeline “has nothing to do with his personal investments and everything to do with promoting policies that benefit all Americans.”
“Those making such a claim are only attempting to distract from the fact that President-elect Trump has put forth serious policy proposals he plans to set in motion on Day One,” said the daily briefing note sent to campaign supporters and congressional staff.
As the story points out, Trump has also been a proponent of the Keystone XL pipeline (which the Obama administration killed) and generally supports development of America’s fossil fuel resources. Nevertheless, a spokesman for Greenpeace tells the Guardian, “This is the definition of corruption. The president of the United States should not be trading favors with oil and gas corporations.”
It’s not a matter of if the pipeline is going to be completed, only a matter of when. But even before Trump is sworn into office, the protesters are facing a challenge much more dangerous than the local police: winter. The Associated Press reports:
If they defy next week’s government deadline to abandon the camp, demonstrators know the real deep freeze lies ahead, when the full weight of the Great Plains winter descends on their community of nylon tents and teepees. Life-threatening wind chills and towering snow drifts could mean the greatest challenge is simple survival.
“I’m scared. I’m a California girl, you know?” said Loretta Reddog of Placerville, California, a protester who said she arrived several months ago with her two dogs and has yet to adjust to the harsher climate…
Back at the camp, about 75 people lined up Thursday to draw propane for heating and cooking from a fuel truck. The driver, Rodney Grant, said it was his seventh trip in a week. The propane was free to campers. Grant said he did not know who was paying for it.
Dani Jo McKing, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux, was among those in line. She and her husband have been sharing cold-weather tips with people who are not from North Dakota. She said people with out-of-state license plates, including California and Nevada, have been seen driving away from the camp. The cruel winter is bound to induce others to head home, she said.
Who is paying to send a truck of propane to the camp seven times a week? More to the point, where do the protesters think propane comes from? It comes from the refinement of natural gas which, very probably, comes from a fracking well somewhere in North Dakota. These people are literally surviving off the fossil fuel production they oppose.
This AP video report frames the story as a real life sequel to Avatar. The law, the free market, the attempted murder of police by a protester and the blatant hypocrisy of people protesting an oil pipeline while they come and go in cars and have fossil cooking and heating fuel delivered in trucks—none of that is given any consideration here.