President Donald Trump’s executive orders seeking to advance the building of the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines across the native Indian land has indicated how the new Washington administration is potentially bent on violating the rights of indigenous groups in the US.

Trump’s executive orders

The move comes less than two months after the Obama administration stopped the project following the relentless quest by locals and environmentalists who noted that the oil transportation project would affect native lands, water sources, and other sacred cultural sites.

The new presidential orders now give the pipeline company the freedom to expand the oil transportation project which will carry oil from North Dakota to South Dakota through Illinois. President Trump has lauded the project asserting that it will help create massive employment opportunities for Americans and improve the US economy.

Blow on environmentalists

The move, however, comes as a huge blow to the environmentalists and Native community leaders who had achieved tremendous success against the oil transportation company under the Obama government. Environmentalists had argued that potential break, burst or spillage of the oil would adversely damage surrounding native land and water sources.

The Canadian oil company has nonetheless refuted the claims maintaining that it would take the necessary precautions to prevent the occurrence of such scenario that would negatively impact on the environment.

The US has had a long history of deep-water oil spillage affecting water sources. The largest deep water oil spillage occurred in 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico.

In September last year, Native American crowds protesting the construction of the pipeline were pepper sprayed by the police resulting in a spate of injuries. The ugly scenes went viral on social media platforms prompting the Morton County Sheriff’s Department to explain the alleged police brutal and excessive use of force against unarmed protesters.