In a move that did not surprise so much for the decision taken, but for the speed of its execution, President #Donald Trump today signed an executive order that will make it easier for the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines to proceed. The decision was expected as the subject had been addressed by him during the Presidential campaign won by him on November 8th last. Before today the two pipelines were the subject of orders by ex President Barak Obama, effectively blocking their construction, but today’s order have now eased these restrictions..
Pipeline of discordance
While the decision will undoubtedly be widely applauded by big business, the executive order will inevitably be the cause of even more open dissention against the newly installed President who began his term only last Friday and which was followed by a heavily attended national Women’s Protest the following day.
The two pipeline projects have been the subject of much controversy and were opposed by environmentalists and the Indian tribes whose lands were directly affected. The fears were not only regarding the direct environmental consequences to the Indian tribal lands and the other territories to be crossed, but also because many environmentalists believe that government and big business should concentrate on alternative and renewable energy sources rather than continuing dependency on oil for the future.
On December 4th environmentalists had been heartened by President Obama’s decision to block the Dakota Access line, yet few doubted that the incoming President would eventually address the issue.
In the end the development came on the fourth full day of his Presidency.
New jobs for Americans
The principal reason given by President Trump for the decision was of course the creation of new jobs and that the resumption of the pipelines would be a message that he would remove any legislative obstruction to big business. At the same time, the President’s promise that the pipelines would be made with American steel raised questions about the process which would allow work to formally proceed.
Naturally the executive order will send a strong message to the international community leading up to the International Conference in Climate Change to be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on February 16th and 17th next. With the stroke of a pen #Donald Trump today set the stage for a very different international conference than was expected only last night..
Until this morning the United States government had supported Climate Change targets, but this has now surely changed. Appropriately one of the few western countries to oppose these targets was Canada which is now the direct beneficiary of today’s decision. In addition, other western governments which harbor such doubts, such as the Liberal/National Party Coalition in Australia, will see their doubts about climate change reinforced.
Four busy days
The first four days of the new Administration have now seen the beginning of the repealing of the Affordable Care Act, known also as Obamacare, the withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and yesterdays Anti-Abortion Executive order. Today the world also saw Israel announce plans for 2,500 new Jewish settler homes on the West Bank which are undoubtedly the result of President Trump’s open support for such a move.
As the opposition organizes its reaction to today’s Executive orders, the United States and the world are now waiting to see what will be the next decision by President Donald Trump. #Environment