This weekend the Army Corps of Engineers said Dakota Access Pipeline won’t go through as planned since it could have destructive environmental consequences. But, as activists know, that doesn’t mean Republicans are done fighting for the oil pipeline.
President-Elect Donald Trump and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan were among pipeline supporters who emphasized their commitment to the project, and promised to approve the project in the next term. Trump has suggested in prior speech he would push an oil pipeline through during his first 100 days in office, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Ryan tweeted his opposition to delaying the pipeline project on Sunday, indicating that the legislative and executive branches might be in favor of the pipeline come January.
Republican North Dakota Senator John Hoeven, who has supported supported the pipeline in his state and called the protests “violent”, also pushed for approval. “Today, Mr. Trump expressed his support for the Dakota Access Pipeline, which has met or exceeded all environmental standards set forth by four states and the Army Corps of Engineers,” he said in a statement on Dec. 1.
Another state official, Rep. Kevin Cramer, also asked the Obama administration to speed up pipeline approval. “I hoped even a lawless president wouldn’t continue to ignore the rule of law. However, it was becoming increasingly clear he was punting this issue down the road,” he said in a statement.
“Today’s unfortunate decision sends a very chilling signal to others who want to build infrastructure in this country. Roads, bridges, transmission lines, pipelines, wind farms and water lines will be very difficult, if not impossible, to build when criminal behavior is rewarded this way.”
The Army Corps of Engineers will be exploring other options of spots to place the pipeline. Time will tell if the next option is less environmentally risky.
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