aside President-elect Has Potential Conflict Of Interest With Dakota Access Pipe Line Construction

Image result for photos of dakota pipeline protestOn 12/4/2016, numerous news outlets published the great news, that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced its rejection of an application by an oil company to allow the Dakota Access Pipeline to tunnel under Lake Oahe, a reservoir formed by a dam on the Missouri River.

This decision came after months of protests from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, other Native Americans and activists, who argued that the 1,172-mile (1,885-km) Dakota Access Pipeline would damage sacred lands and could contaminate the tribe’s main water source.Image result for photos of dakota pipeline protest

 However, the oil company, Energy Transfer Partners, with its partner, Sunoco Logistics Partners, responded with strong conviction  they do not intend to reroute the line. The oil company officials describe the Obama administration’s decision as a “political action.” The oil company representatives made a point to note that the Army Corps had followed all required legal procedures in the permitting process.
Unfortunately, the statement, the Army Corps had followed all required legal procedures in the permitting process is not a true statement. What is being omitted is that the Army Corps fast-tracked the Dakota Access Pipeline without the procedural consultation process that it is required to follow; and had it done so, it is highly unlikely that the oil company would have been awarded the permits to continue this construction. The Corps is now considering alternate routing for the pipeline.Image result for photos of dakota pipeline protest
But Energy Transfers Partners and Sunoco Logistics Partners are counting on a much more favorable political environment after January 20. 2017 to where construction can be continued without further variances and delays. And why this is a realistic viewpoint is reflected in an 11/25/16 AP report by Matthew Daly,”Trump’s Stock in Dakota Access Oil Pipeline Company Raises Concern,” published via the media outlet, Bloomberg Politics:

“President-elect Donald Trump holds stock in the company building the disputed Dakota Access oil pipeline, and pipeline opponents warn that Trump’s investments could affect any decision he makes on the $3.8 billion project as president.”Related image

“Concern about Trump’s possible conflicts comes amid protests that unfold daily along the proposed pipeline route. The dispute over the route has intensified in recent weeks, with total arrests since August rising to 528. A recent clash near the main protest camp in North Dakota left a police officer and several protesters injured.”

“Trump’s most recent federal disclosure forms, filed in May, show he owned between $15,000 and $50,000 in stock in Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners. That’s down from between $500,000 and $1 million a year earlier.”Image result for photos of dakota pipeline protest

 “Trump also owns between $100,000 and $250,000 in Phillips 66, which has a one-quarter share of Dakota Access.”

“While Trump’s stake in the pipeline company is modest compared with his other assets. ethics experts say it’s among dozens of potential conflicts that could be resolved by placing his investments in a blind trust, a step Trump has resisted.”

“The Obama administration said this month it wants more study and tribal input before deciding whether to allow the partially built pipeline to cross under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota.”Related image

“The 1,200-mile pipeline would carry oil across four states to a shipping point in Illinois. The project has been held up while the Army Corps of Engineers consults with the Standing Rock Sioux, who believe the project could harm the tribe’s drinking water and Native American cultural sites.”

“The delay raises the likelihood that a final decision will be made by Trump, a pipeline supporter who has vowed to “unleash” unfettered production of oil and gas. He takes office in January.”Image result for photos of dakota pipeline protest

“Trump’s investments in the pipeline business threaten to undercut faith in this process — which was already frayed — by interjecting his own financial well-being into a much bigger decision,” said Sharon Buccino, director of the land and wildlife program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group.”

“This should be about the interests of the many, rather than giving the appearance of looking at the interests of a few — including Trump,” Buccino said.”

“Trump, a billionaire who has never held public office, holds ownership stakes in more than 500 companies worldwide. He has said he plans to transfer control of his company to three of his adult children, but ethics experts have said conflicts could engulf the new administration if Trump does not liquidate his business holdings.”Image result for photos of dakota pipeline protest

“Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., senior Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee, called Trump’s investment in the pipeline company “disturbing” and said it fits a pattern evident in Trump’s transition team.”

“You have climate (change) deniers, industry lobbyists and energy conglomerates involved in that process,” Grijalva said. “The pipeline companies are gleeful. This is pay-to-play at its rawest.”

 “A spokeswoman for Trump, Hope Hicks, provided a statement about conflicts of interest to The Associated Press on Friday: “We are in the process of vetting various structures with the goal of the immediate transfer of management of The Trump Organization and its portfolio of businesses to Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric Trump as well as a team of highly skilled executives. This is a top priority at the organization and the structure that is ultimately selected will comply with all applicable rules and regulations.”Related image

“Besides Trump, at least two possible candidates for energy secretary also could benefit from the pipeline. Oil billionaire Harold Hamm could ship oil from his company, Continental Resources, through the pipeline, while former Texas Gov. Rick Perry serves on the board of directors of Energy Transfer Partners.”

“North Dakota Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple, along with GOP Sen. John Hoeven and Rep. Kevin Cramer, called on President Barack Obama to authorize the Army Corps of Engineers to approve the pipeline crossing, the last large segment of the nearly completed pipeline.”Image result for photos of dakota pipeline protest

“Kelcy Warren, CEO of Dallas-based Energy Transfer, told The Associated Press that he expects Trump to make it easier for his company and others to complete infrastructure projects.”

“Do I think it’s going to get easier? Of course,” said Warren, who donated $3,000 to Trump’s campaign, plus $100,000 to a committee supporting Trump’s candidacy and $66,800 to the Republican National Committee.”

“If you’re in the infrastructure business,” he said, “you need consistency. That’s where this process has gotten off track.”Related image

“The Army Corps of Engineers granted Warren’s company the permits needed for the crossing in July, but the agency decided in September that further analysis was warranted, given the tribe’s concerns. On 11/14/16, the corps called for even more study.”

“The company has asked a federal judge to declare it has the right to lay pipe under Lake Oahe, a Missouri River reservoir in southern North Dakota. The judge isn’t likely to issue a decision until January at the earliest.”

3 comments

  1. Gronda, I saw where he sold the stock today. Even this one was pretty obvious. Now, we have those global interests, where to pay to play will be a recurring matter. He has to cease all actual involvement with his global business empire. But, even then, there will be people trying to curry favor with him by doing business with his companies. Keith

    • Dear Keith.

      This is going to be a mission impossible task but it needs to be tackled to protect the standing of the office of the U.S. presidency.

      Ciao, Gronda

  2. He sold his stocks a while ago. No conflict here. In fact, I doubt Trump will make decisions purely based on his ‘financial interest’. He is already a multi-Billionaire. His first and foremost duty as President will be the well-being of this country and the American people. Remember, America first.

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