ETP CEO puts faith in Trump Administration; Corps stops DAPL
Shortly after the election, Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren told both NBC and CBS that he was “100 percent” certain that a Trump Administration would approve stalled Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) drilling permits.
“I’m 100 percent sure that the pipeline will be approved by a Trump administration,” CEO Kelcy Warren of Energy Transfer Partners — the Dallas-based company funding the $3.7 billion project — told NBC News.
Do I think it’s [DAPL] going to get easier? Of course.
Corps stops the project
However on Sunday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it would not grant the easement that would permit drilling under Lake Oahe in North Dakota. The Corps will, instead, initiate a full Environmental Impact Statement, something that critics — including other federal agencies — have called for.
In March, the Department of the Interior objected to the Corps plan:
We believe the Corps did not adequately justify or otherwise support its conclusion that there would be no significant impacts upon the surrounding environment and community”
Crossings of the Missouri River have the potential to affect the primary source of drinking water for much of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Tribal nations…A screening level analysis for EJ [environmental justice] indicates there are several census block groups with substantial minority and/or low income demographics that could be potentially impacted by the project,” the EPA wrote. “In addition to analyzing potential EJ impacts, Executive Order 12898 on Environmental Justice (February 16, 1994, Bush the elder Administration) also requires public outreach to potentially affected EJ communities.”
The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation did as well:
Based on the inadequacies of the tribal consultation and the limited scope for identification of historic properties that may be affected, the ACHP questions the sufficiency of the Corps’ identification effort, its determinations of eligibility, and assessments of effect”
The Corps has jurisdiction over domestic pipelines that cross major waterways. The Department of the Interior is responsible for the administration and management of Native American lands. The Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for the National Environmental Protection Act and the Clean Water Act. Finally, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) promotes the preservation, enhancement, and productive use of the nation’s historic resources.
Warren campaign contributions
Warren contributed extensively to Donald Trump’s campaign. He donated $3,000 directly to the campaign, as well as $100,000 to a committee supporting Trump’s candidacy and $66,800 to the Republican National Committee.
OpenSecrets details his political contributions. Warren is a top outside group donor, a top individual contributor – hard money, and a top individual contributor to SuperPACs. In the 2016 cycle, Warren donated $1.53 million to SuperPACS, all conservative.
Forbes estimates his net worth at $3.9 billion.
Trump’s financial entanglement
Last week, President-elect Trump officially endorsed the Dakota Access Pipeline. Trump holds investments in both ETP and Phillips 66, the two companies fronting Dakota Access, LLC, the entity building the pipeline.
A communications briefing from Trump’s transition team said despite media reports that Trump owns a stake in Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the pipeline, Trump’s support of the pipeline “has nothing to do with his personal investments and everything to do with promoting policies that benefit all Americans.”
In May 2015, President-elect Trump had invested between $500,000 and $1 million into ETP. In October, ABC reported that he still held that investment. The Washington Post reported in November that Trump’s investment in ETP had declined to less $50,000.
President-elect Trump also owns stock worth between $500,000 and $1 million in Phillips 66, which holds a 25% interest in the project.
According to the company, the pipeline is 92 percent complete overall and 99 percent complete in North Dakota.
- Dec. 1 – Standing Rock Sioux met with Energy Transfer Partners in September 2014
- Nov. 30 – Trump, who has invested in the Dakota Access Pipeline, officially endorses the project
- Nov. 27, Obama Administration to shut down months-long DAPL protest at Standing Rock
Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. by Gage Skidmore. Flickr Creative Commons License.