Energy

Trump Is Heavily Invested In Fight Over Dakota Access Pipeline

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has between $500,000 and $1 million invested in the company behind the construction of the hotly contested oil pipeline in North Dakota, according to financial disclosure forms Trump filed in 2015.

The financial disclosure form filed in May of 2015 shows Trump invested in Energy Transfer Partners, the company responsible for constructing the Dakota Access Pipeline. The information was disclosed in Trump’s filing to the Federal Election Commission.

The Republican nominee dumped another $500,000 in Phillips 66, which will have a 25 percent ownership in the project once completed. He also reported making upward of $50,000 in interest, dividends and capital gains from the pipeline.

The company’s CEO Kelcy Warren, in return, shoveled more than $100,000 to elect Trump since the real estate tycoon turned politician garnered the Republican presidential nomination. She also dumped another $66,000 into the Republican National Committee.

The Trump campaign has not responded to request for comment on the story.

Many of the same environmentalist groups that opposed the Keystone XL pipeline have joined the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAP), which would bring 470,000 barrels of Bakken crude oil per day from western North Dakota to southern Illinois.

The nearly $4 billion project has come under incredible scrutiny as protesters and members of the Standing Rock Sioux argue the pipeline’s construction would trample on tribal lands and destroy artifacts. They also argue it could potentially poison waterways, including rivers such as the Missouri River and Lake Oahe.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia decided in September that such claims were largely unfounded based primarily on cultural surveys showing the pipeline leaving artifacts untouched.

A survey conducted prior to the project’s initial approval, for instance, determined the initial pipeline had 149 eligible sites, with 91 of them containing stone features considered sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe — a group of Indian Americans claiming the completed Dakota Access pipeline will violate its ancestral land.

It was then rerouted and modified substantially to avoid all 91 of those areas, and all but nine of the other potentially eligible sites, according to court decision in September okaying construction. The judge in the case subsequently denied the motion for a preliminary injunction to Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, arguing the Indian American tribe could not show how the pipeline would damage the group’s sacred ground.

Energy Transfer Partners estimates the DAPL will create between 8,000 and 12,000 local jobs during construction and translate into $156 million in local sales and income taxes. It wall also supposedly generate more than $50 million annually in property taxes.

Warren, for her part, has mirrored the court’s opinion, writing in a press statement that “concerns about the pipeline’s impact on the local water supply are unfounded,” and that “multiple archaeological studies conducted with state historic preservation offices found no sacred items along the route.”

The billionaire former reality TV star is a proponent of the energy industry and an opponent of snarling regulations.

“We’ve got to get rid of some of these regulations,” Trump said at a May event in North Dakota. “It’s gotten out of control.” He also said he would approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline and take some of the project’s profits.

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