North Dakota’s newly elected governor said he expects the “world’s going to change” for those opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline after President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.
“I would expect that (Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the project) will get its easement and it will go through,” Republican Gov. Doug Burgum said Thursday about what to expect after Trump takes office. He rode to victory in 2016 on a platform of streamlining government.
He told reporters that approval for the highly contentious DAPL is nearly a foregone conclusion once the president-elect takes residence in the White House.
The fate of the $3.8 billion project, which is expected to bring 470,000 barrels of Bakken crude oil per day through four states, will almost certainly fall into Trump’s hands — the former reality TV star has publicly voiced his support for the 1,178-mile long line.
ETP projects that the DAPL, once completed, will create up to 12,000 construction jobs and provide millions in state and local revenues during the construction phase, but is losing $20 million every day it is delayed.
Anti-DAPL activists camped out at sites near the controversial pipeline believe the line’s construction would trample on tribal lands and potentially poison waterways, including rivers such as the Missouri River and Lake Oahe. Many protesters remain at the campsite even after the Army Corps of Engineers rejected the project last month.
Burgum, who took office in December, warned protesters on Jan. 4 that if the sites are not cleared before March, then rainfall and snow melt could “endanger” their lives. He offered an additional warning on Thursday.
“The amount of cleanup that needs to take place is enormous,” Burgum said. “We’ve got a potential ecological disaster if this land floods and all the debris flows downstream into tribal lands.”
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