The Washington Times noted that law enforcement fought off an army of 400 protestors who attempted to cross the bridge on state Highway 1806 in North Dakota near an uncompleted oil pipeline that has been the venue of violent demonstrations and illegal acts. The officers used water cannon and tear gas to turn back the demonstrators and made at least one arrest. Thus proceeded the latest action of an ongoing mess that President Barack #Obama is leaving for Donald Trump.
For the past few months members of the Standing Rock Sioux, along with a motley crew of environmentalists, Hollywood activists, and professional protestors have been violently resisting the completing of an oil pipeline designed to bring crude from a North Dakota field to a shipping point in Illinois. The protestors claim that the $3.8 billion, 1,200 pipeline would encroach on sacred Native American sites and would endanger water supplies. Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the pipeline, point out that the route avoids burial and sacred sites and that safeguards exist to prevent oil leakages. The company says that the pipeline will be safer than shipping the oil by truck or rail.
The pipeline company has withstood all court challenges and would have completed the pipeline by now except by studied interference by the Obama administration. The federal government has refused to offer resources to help expel the protesters, who have clashed with local law enforcement and have resorted to criminal acts, such as vandalizing and destroying construction equipment. The Army Corps of Engineers has recently imposed a delay in construction of the final section of the pipeline pending further study, citing past mistreatment of Native American people. The matter is currently being litigated in court.
It is clear that the Obama administration is using the chaos to throw barriers in the way of the development of fossil fuel resources. It has already blocked that construction of another pipeline, the Keystone XL, which would bring oil from Alberta to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast.
It is virtually certain that #Donald Trump when he becomes president, will reverse many of Obama’s energy policies. The Keystone and North Dakota pipelines will be allowed to be completed. The Trump Justice Department will use federal resources to protect the construction against the violent demonstrators. But for now, those attempting to develop American energy resources will have to put up with just two more months of having the federal government as an enemy rather than an ally. #Environment