Thursday turned out to be a bad day for the climate movement.
First, Energy Transfer Partners announced the the Dakota Access Pipeline is not “in commercial service.”
According to the press release,
“The $3.8 billion Dakota Access consists of approximately 1,172 miles of 30-inch diameter pipeline traversing North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois. Crude oil transported on Dakota Access originates at six terminal locations in the North Dakota counties of Mountrail, Williams and McKenzie. The pipeline delivers the crude oil to a hub outside of Patoka, Illinois where it can be delivered to the ETCO pipeline for delivery to the Gulf Coast, or can be transported via other pipelines to refining markets throughout the Midwest. ETCO consists of more than 700 miles of mostly 30-inch converted natural gas pipeline from Patoka, Illinois to Nederland, Texas, where the crude oil can be refined or further transported to additional refining markets.”
The pipeline has been the subject of enormous protest for over a year. Last year, thousands, led by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe who’s lands are to be heavily affected by the project, camped out in North Dakota to demand an end to the project.
Just this week, NationofChange ran a story about how The Intercept obtained documents that revealed that Energy Transfer Partners had hired a private military contractor to squash the opposition. TigerSwan likened the peaceful water protectors to a “jihadist insurgency” and utilized serious counterterrorism measures, including air surveillance and infiltration of the camps, in order to stop the movement.
Now, on the same day that oil has started flowing through Dakota Access, President Donald Trump officially announced his intention to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.
The Paris agreement was signed by every country in the world, except for Syria and Nicaragua, (he latter claimed the agreement was not sufficient enough) in a pledge to reduce carbon emissions in an effort to keep global temperatures below 3.6 degree Celsius. The United States will be the only country to have signed the agreement and then withdraw.
This decision is not the first – nor will it likely be the last – from the Trump administration to move the United States backwards in climate action. Shortly after taking office, Trump moved to abandon the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, and has proposed severe funding cuts to important climate research and regulation.