Well Of Course Donald Trump Stands To Make Money From Dakota Pipeline. Stop Acting Surprised!
Hey, here's a big non-surprise! Almost as soon as Donald Trump was elected, Kelcy Warren, CEO of Energy Transfers Partners, the Dallas-based company building the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) to carry crude oil across four states, was simply elated, because he finally knew for certain his beautiful pipeline would go through, regardless of protests by the Standing Rock Sioux and other Native American groups. Water supply and their sacred sites be damned, there's money to be made. As it turns out, not only did Warren donate a large chunk of change to Donald Trump's campaign; Trump himself owns stock in both Energy Transfer Partners and the oil companies that will be profiting from the pipeline. Plus, even if he hadn't had a financial stake, Trump loves all the oil projects ever. For a quick summary of Trump's financial entanglements in the pipeline, and the larger matter of just how wrapped up every aspect of the Trump presidency will be in conflicts of interest, enjoy the "Rachel Maddow Show" clip above.
We really haven't had anything like this before, where virtually everything a president does involves a conflict of interest, but that seems to be the Haired One's M.O.: blow up all the old ethical standards, because people are mad, dammit. Won't bring back any jobs, but at least those pesky Sioux and their hippie supporters will get hit with water cannons in sub-freezing temperatures.
Not that the fight over the DAPL is over for good -- the Army Corps of Engineers called for the protest camp to be closed by December 5, but also said the federal government would not forcibly remove anyone. Monday, North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple ordered a mandatory evacuation of the protesters, citing the oncoming winter weather as a threat to their health, but also said the state wouldn't seek to "forcibly remove" anyone -- which sounds like bureaucratic doublespeak for telling the protesters they'll be dragged away for their own good, but only if they provoke state authorities by staying where they are. Yr Wonkette is not a lawyer, but that's what it sounds like to us.
The Corp of Engineers is continuing to assess the tribe's request to reroute the pipeline so it will not endanger sacred sites or its water supply and has so far refused to grant Energy Transfer Partners the easement it wants to finish the pipeline. Monday, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid called on the incoming Trump administration to work with the Corps and the tribe to find an alternate route:
I encourage the new administration and the Army Corps of Engineers to continue finding alternative routes [...] There is one out there. It should not be hard. There is no reason that this situation cannot be remedied in a manner that's fair to all.
So for at least a couple months, the Standing Rock Sioux still have some allies in government. Then it's time for the bulldozers, the water cannon (again), and maybe the attack dogs (again). But we're sure it will be done fairly, so no oil companies are treated too harshly.
In an unrelated development, President-elect Trump has announced an exciting new snack foods venture in collaboration with a major vendor. Look for Trump branded Soylent Protester snacks to hit the shelves shortly after the inauguration.
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.