President-elect Donald Trump is invested in Energy Transfer Partners, who have a 25% stake in the Dakota Access Pipeline, if it sees completion. Construction temporarily halted this week after Obama delayed his decision, but Trump’s presence is already insinuating itself into discussions around the site.
The Guardian reports that on Monday, the US army corps of engineers called for more analysis of the project’s proposal to drill under the Missouri River before construction could commence. This is largely due to the monumental efforts of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, who have organized protests around the country and an encampment at the construction site.
On Tuesday, Energy Transfer Partners petitioned a federal judge to allow them to continue, just one day after the halt was called, claiming the review has already cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars. CEO Kelcy Warren said in a statement, “Dakota Access Pipeline has waited long enough to complete this pipeline.” He added, “It is time for the Courts to end this political interference and remove whatever legal cloud that may exist over the right-of-way beneath federal land at Lake Oahe.”
Warren also told NBC News on Saturday that he is “100 percent sure that the pipeline will be approved by a Trump administration.”
Standing Rock Sioux tribal chair, Dave Archambault II, pointed out that in previous court filings, ETP claimed that if they were not delivering oil by January 1, 2017, their shipper contracts would expire, threatening the entire project. They moved forward without obtaining the permit they needed from the US Army Corps, having not anticipated the protest. He explains, “The only urgency here was created by their own reckless choice to build the pipeline before it had all the permits to do so.”