Dakota Dintelman, Reporter
The North Dakota Access Pipeline has been a war of attrition between two staunch advocates of two opposing views. President Trump recently greenlit the project once again despite undaunted protests by Native Americans and Environmentalists alike. One of the most interesting things about this project is how divided the nation seems to be when talking about it. If one were to listen to a source known to lean towards a Republican point of view, you might hear of the tremendous amount of jobs that would be created for hard working American citizens. If you listen to an environmentalist’s stance on the project, one would most likely hear stories of previously failed pipeline projects that are now leaking, compromising countless acres of our precious land. What is clear is that this singular pipeline is not a make or break situation when it comes to climate change or preserving the integrity of the environment. This battle is more symbolic and could pave the way towards what we can expect to see from President Trumps administration in the future.
According to a feature published on February 7th by EarthJustice.org, Trump intends to expedite the process of initiating the pipeline’s construction by foregoing and Environmental Impact Statement, which is a document detailing the estimated impact of the supposed project in question. Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Dave Archambault II, said “The drinking water of millions of Americans is now at risk. We are a sovereign nation and we will fight to protect our water and sacred places from the brazen private interests trying to push this pipeline through to benefit a few wealthy Americans with financial ties to the Trump administration.” He went on to say “Americans have come together in support of the Tribe asking for a fair, balanced and lawful pipeline process. The environmental impact statement was wrongfully terminated.”
Switching over to a completely different perspective we have the Fox News network showing their side of the occurrences. In their report constructed by John Roberts and The Associated Press, Sean Spicer said that “there’s and energy revolution that’s going to happen in this country.” North Dakota Representative Kevin Cramer said “Today’s executive orders affirm President Trump’s respect for the rule of law and his support for responsible infrastructure development, energy production and job creation.” So we have affirmation that Trump is in the right by greenlighting the pipeline project, despite the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision that alternate routes must be considered, despite Energy Transfer Partners, who is overseeing the construction of the pipeline, having stated that it would totally safe.
Finally, in an article written by Peter Baker and Coral Davenport of the New York Times we see another separate point of view. Who start of by saying that Trumps executive orders are a step in the process of dismantling the ground work of former President Obama’s previous actions. “I am, to a large extent, an environmentalist, I believe in it, but it’s out of control, and we’re going to make it a very short process. And we’re going to either give you your permits, or we’re not going to give you your permits. But you’re going to know very quickly. And generally we’re going to be giving you your permits.”, said President Trump. The article clarifies Trumps true stance on environmentalists’ issues by reminded us that President Trump claimed climate change was a hoax perpetuated by China. Also that according to the Federal Election Commission Trump owned stocks in Energy Transfer Partners but supposedly sold all of the stocks in June of last year. The fact that he sold all the stocks cannot be verified due to Trump not providing documentation of the sale.
Overall, we several very split views of the subject matter. It’s important to remember the gravity of the situation. While the pipeline itself may not make or break climate change, what happens now will surely set a standard for what will happen in the future. If protestors falter and give in to the construction of the pipeline, future projects will be very hard to stop. On the other hand, if pipeline construction continues we could see more of the pipeline projects and many similar to it. Little time is left before the pipeline sees its final confirmations, and the people who represent each and every single point of view are undaunted, ready to hold their ground.