In a Monday afternoon address to the White House press corps, Trump spokesman Sean Spicer said that part of Trump’s “America First” energy plan involved extraction of natural resources in all areas of the United States. He specifically referenced the 1,100-mile Dakota Access Pipeline as one of the projects the Trump administration would be pushing for.
“Areas like Dakota, Keystone pipeline, areas that we can increase jobs, increase economic growth, and tap into America’s energy supply more,” Spicer said. “I think that the energy sector and our natural resources are an area where I think the president is very, very keen on making sure that we maximize our natural resources to America’s benefit. It’s good for our economic growth, it’s good for jobs, and it’s good for American energy.”
Despite Spicer’s claims that the oil extracted through the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline would be for “America’s benefit,” a report by Lee Fang of The Intercept suggests that oil would instead be exported to other countries, to the exclusive benefit of oil giants like Energy Transfer Partners, which is building the pipeline. Fang cited Congress’ vote in 2015 to lift the longstanding ban on crude oil exports.
“We will not own the oil that is transported through the pipeline. We are like FedEx. We will deliver the oil to the refineries for the producers,” Energy Transfer Partners spokeswoman Vicki Granado told Fang in September.
The Dakota Access Pipeline was only narrowly stopped after consistent direct action by indigenous groups, led by the tribes of the Standing Rock Sioux in North Dakota. In December of last year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers blocked Energy Transfer Partners’ proposed route under Lake Oahe, effectively sidelining the pipeline for the remainder of President Obama’s time in office.
Watch video of Spicer’s comments on the Dakota Access Pipeline below, courtesy of The Independent: