Monday, January 30, 2017

TRUMP WORLD - Priorities

Jobs before environment, deregulation above health, and oil money above everything else.

"Seeing impediments to jobs, Trump prioritizes pipelines over environmental protections" PBS NewsHour 1/24/2017


SUMMARY:  The Dakota Access Pipeline and Keystone XL Pipeline were put on hold during the Obama administration.  But new executive orders by President Trump begin putting them back on track, as part of efforts to undo former President Obama's legacy.  How do these moves fit into the broader Trump agenda for energy and the environment?  William Brangham talks with Valerie Volcovici of Reuters.

WILLIAM BRANGHAM (NewsHour):  Two of those moves gave new life to two of the most contentious oil pipelines in America, the Dakota Access Pipeline, which hundreds of Native American groups have been protesting, as well as the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Both of these had been delayed or put on hold by the Obama administration.

To understand how these moves fit into the Trump administration's broader plans for energy and environmental policy, I'm joined by Valerie Volcovici.  She covers this for Reuters.


VALERIE VOLCOVICI, Reuters:  Thank you.

WILLIAM BRANGHAM:  So let's talk about these two pipelines in particular.

The Dakota Access pipeline, what did Trump's order say about that?

VALERIE VOLCOVICI:  So, Trump's order this morning basically said that he wants to expedite the process.

As you well know, the Dakota Access protest has really galvanized Native American tribal sovereignty issues.  It's brought together so, wide coalition of environmentalists, social activists, in addition to tribes.

So it's been one of the more high-profile protests that we have seen in a while.  Right now, it's kind of stalled because former President Obama ordered an environmental review of a kind of contentious section of this pipeline that the tribe argues crosses into some sacred sites.  His aim is really to move it along, because…

WILLIAM BRANGHAM:  He wants to get this built.

VALERIE VOLCOVICI:  He wants to get it built, and he said so on the campaign trail, and he is following through on day four, whatever it is, of the administration.

WILLIAM BRANGHAM:  Yes, this one really wasn't that much of a surprise, if you had been listening to him all along.


WILLIAM BRANGHAM:  And then what about the Keystone XL?  That is a slightly different issue.  This was another pipeline that goes from Canada down to the Gulf.

And this was one that Obama for many, many years seemed to wrangle with and debate what to do, and then eventually denied the permit for it.  What did Trump do today?

VALERIE VOLCOVICI:  Well, what Trump did today is, first of all, it invited Canada to reapply.  TransCanada is the company that wants to get it built.  As far as I'm aware, TransCanada has said it wants to reapply.

And then it will have the State Department.  They will do an environmental impact assessment of the permit and decide whether or not to issue it.  And it needs to be done within 60 days.

So, again, another sign that Trump wants to fast-track this, because, as we remember from the Keystone fights, it lasted a long time and kind of became a symbol of President Obama's environmental goals and it really also galvanized the environmentalists.

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