A Democrat lawmaker under consideration for a role in the Trump administration said Monday that the Dakota Access Pipeline “is going to be built” regardless opposition.
“I just think that this fight is not winnable, and we need to get down to doing things that will make a difference in the next generation,” North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp said in an interview on CNBC.
Heitkamp is on the short list to become President-elect Donald Trump’s Secretary or Energy. She predicted that the former reality TV star turned politician will approve the multi-billion oil pipeline.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rejected the previously approved pipeline, after months of protests led by the Standing Rock Sioux, among other environmental activist.
Heitcamp also said that the “keep it in the ground” activists opposing the pipeline are living in a fantasy world.
“I think when you look at it, it’s so critically important that we live in the real world and not live in the world of ideology, and I can tell you that of the factions down there, there’s a large number of people who are ‘leave it in the ground,’ who think we should shut off fossil fuel,” she said.
Heitkamp believes that anti-fossil fuel advocates contributed to the Democrats poor showing during the 2016 presidential election.
She said: “I think people who work in the fossil fuel industry feel that, whether they’re coal miners, oil workers, and I think that kind of alignment with ‘leave it in the ground’ and not looking at all of the above energy policy has had an effect.”
Trump won North Dakota by a 36 percent point margin. Republican Sen. John Hoeven won his reelection this year by a nearly 62-point margin over his Democratic opponent.
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