Indigenous people protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline project.

Photo credit: arindambanerjee / Shutterstock

On January 24, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to resume the construction of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines. Trump cited job creation as the reason for doing so.

“We’re going to put a lot of workers, a lot of skilled workers, back to work. We will build our own pipeline, we will build our own pipes, like we used to in the old days,” Trump stated.

But what Trump failed to mention is that he has a conflict of interest. The project is being constructed by a subsidiary of Energy Transport Partners. Kelcy Warren, CEO of Energy Transport Partners, donated $100,000 to Trump’s election campaign.

To make matters worse, Trump also owned a stake in Energy Transport Partners. According to Trump’s spokeswoman Hope Hicks, he sold his shares in mid-2016. However, fact-checking resource Snopes hasn’t been able to confirm whether he actually sold his shares.

But let’s get to the biggest reason why the Dakota Access Pipeline project is unethical: because it would taint sacred tribal land. The pipeline would run extremely close to land owned by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe claim that the pipe would contaminate nearby drinking water and desecrate burial grounds.

… And they’re right.

There’s already been a breach in the Belle Fourche pipeline, which is about 150 miles from the Standing Rock tribal lands. Nearly 130,000 gallons of crude oil spilled into the Ash Coulee Creek. This is a serious environmental concern.

On top of all that, there’s a human rights issue at stake. Those who have been protesting the construction of the pipeline have had dogs sicked on them, freezing water blasted at them, and rubber bullets shot at them. This pipeline is wrong on so many levels, and it’s quite disgusting to see President Trump push it through.

About 

Jane is a twenty-something Bostonian who is passionate about social justice, art, and anything else that strikes her fancy. She likes long walks by the beach (really!), Chinese takeout, and learning new things.