United States: Pipeline company defies Obama with new drilling

In defiance of both the Obama administration and ongoing indigenous protests on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, the company behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline announced on November 8 it would soon begin drilling under the Missouri River.

The pipeline operator, Energy Transfer Partners, made the announcement late in the afternoon on Election Day, when most media outlets were preoccupied with the presidential election.

Meanwhile, industry experts are saying that the election of Donald Trump is a win for the company constructing the pipeline that would transport fracked oil from North Dakota to a terminal in Illinois, crossing the Missouri River upstream of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation.

Financial publication Platts reports that Dakota Access Pipeline “sponsor Energy Transfer Partners' shares were up 11.7 percent Wednesday afternoon at $37.28”.

“Trump’s support of US oil and gas development and his close ties to Harold Hamm, CEO of key Bakken producer Continental Resources that stands to gain from improved netbacks from Dakota Access, make it highly likely he will greenlight the project,” financial analyst Ethan Bellamy said, according to Platts.

Yet many Dakota Access protesters are staying strong and echoing the sentiments of Ladonna Bravebull Allard, an indigenous water protector at the Sacred Stone camp, who asserted prior to the election: “I know there are people worried about the new president, and I want to let you know that we have suffered under all the American presidents since the establishment of America. Nothing changes for us. We will still be expendable in their eyes.

“We must continue to stand up and say we have a right to live. We must let the world know we have a right to clean water. We must stand up for our children, grandchildren, and the unborn!

“We fight in prayer, we fight in civil disobedience. We must stop the black snake!”

[Abridged from Common Dreams.]

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