On the second business day of his presidency, Donald Trump, a man with two butt holes but no mouth, will reportedly sign orders advancing the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. President Barack Obama rejected the Keystone XL project in 2015, and blocked a permit request for the Dakota pipeline in December 2016.
The pipelines have been the sites of grueling protests for several years. From Bloomberg:
Environmentalists fiercely battled the project, making it a flashpoint in broader debates about U.S. energy policy and climate change. Landowners in the pipeline’s path warned that a spill of dense crude could contaminate the Ogallala aquifer, a source of drinking water that stretches from Texas to South Dakota. And activists said it would promote further development of oil sands in Alberta, Canada that generally require more energy to extract.
Dakota Access opponents say the pipeline would damage sites culturally significant to Native Americans and pose an environmental hazard where it crosses the Missouri River. Earlier this month, the Department of the Army withheld the final easement necessary for construction beneath the lake.
The Standing Rock Sioux, the tribe whose land the Dakota Access Pipeline would pass through, has already suffered tremendously in opposition to the pipeline’s construction.
NBC News reports that in a meeting with auto executives on Tuesday, Trump said of federal environmental regulations, “I am, to a large extent, an environmentalist. I believe in it, but it’s out of control and we’re going to make a very short process and we’re going to either give you your permits or we’re not going to give you your permits, but you’re going to know very quickly.”
In fact, Trump has been an active opponent of the continued existence of the earth and its resources, once claiming that climate change was a “hoax” perpetrated by the Chinese. Since entering office, he has appointed two climate change deniers, Myron Ebell and Scott Pruitt, to head his Environmental Protection Agency transition team and the EPA, respectively, and reportedly plans on “hammering” the agency with massive budget cuts.
“More people sent comments against Dakota Access and Keystone XL to the government than any project in history,” said 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben in a statement. “The world’s climate scientists and its Nobel laureates explained over and over why it was unwise and immoral. In one of his first actions as president, Donald Trump ignores all that in his eagerness to serve the oil industry. It’s a dark day for reason, but we will continue the fight.”
One day ago, Trump signed another order prohibiting NGOs that mention abortion from receiving federal funding.
Update (11:40 a.m.): Trump has officially signed the executive action.