According to the Obama administration and the media, the decision to deny the builders of the Dakota Access pipeline a government permit was made by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. But, as House Speaker Paul Ryan knows all too well, this was a decision made by the president himself.
On Twitter, Ryan said Obama’s decision to put the pipeline on hold represented “big government decision-making at its worst.” Ryan continued, saying he was looking “forward to putting this anti-energy presidency behind us.”
So say we all.
The company behind the pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, said in a statement that the administration’s decision was rooted in politics. They characterized the move as “just the latest in a series of overt and transparent political actions by an administration which has abandoned the rule of law in favor of currying favor with a narrow and extreme political constituency.”
Yep, that’s our boy Obama, all right.
The pipeline garnered national attention when members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe began protesting construction, telling the federal government that the project put their water sources at risk. As the presidential election wound down, the protests revved up. Supporters from all over the country, including groups of U.S. veterans, joined the Native Americans in a standoff with police that lasted months.
The decision is not final; Army spokespeople say it is a temporary measure meant to give both sides some options.
“Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” said Assistant Secretary for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy. “The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”
Because this isn’t officially emanating from the White House, it won’t be immediately easy for President Trump to overturn the decision. And considering how volatile the protests could get, it’s not necessarily clear if that would be a wise move to begin with.
On the other hand, this sets a dangerous precedent. The protesters at Standing Rock used violence and destruction to fight this battle before ludicrously gaining national sympathy when police turned the water cannons on them. And now, their illegitimate tactics have been legitimized. This is how movements of peaceful protest turn into movements of eco-terrorism. America’s energy interests are increasingly at the mercy of the lunatic fringe, and THAT is a trend that Trump can put an end to.