Crooked Trump's Personal Investment In the Dakota Access Pipeline
On Sunday, November 20th, militarized police spent their evening (and our tax dollars) spraying peaceful Standing Rock Sioux protesters and their allies with water canons in freezing temperatures, firing rubber bullets into the crowd, and arresting American citizens who had the temerity to fight to keep their water drinkable. The Sioux tribe has been protesting the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline since the spring of this year to little fanfare from major media outlets. The final stage of the pipeline will run beneath the Missouri River, which is a vital source of drinking water for the inhabitants of that area. Meanwhile, Obama has taken this occasion to show the people where he stands, falling just short of stapling a white flag onto the back of an American one, and waving it from his knees in the face of Dakota Access, LLC. But Obama's a lame duck. We have a new president on deck, and he's about to turn The White House orange! So, what can we expect to see from Trump in regards to the Dakota Access Pipeline? Probably nothing good.
It turns out that in a Halliburton-scaled conflict of interest, Trump has invested somewhere between $500,000 and $1,000,000 in Energy Transfer Partners, which is a company that is directly funding the project. Much like the protests themselves, the president elect's financial affiliation with a company whose Cinderella project's fate lies at the feet of the Army Corps of Engineers, has been grossly under-reported.
The only stage left for the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline is an easement from the Army Corps of Engineers that would allow completion of the thing. While Obama did order the project to be halted, he did absolutely nothing when they basically said “Aw, fuck it! We'll just keep digging and see what happens.” The reason that the contractors took such a bold move is that they knew absolutely nothing would happen if they carried on. And, why not? The logic is simple: Oil companies have a lot of money, and the protesters don't. It doesn't matter who's right or wrong. What matters is that Obama and many of his ilk are about to be unemployed. Kicked off of the island of absolute security that they've been on for eight years. And the historic go-to for washed up politicians is to aggressively suckle on the teat of any major company that will cut them a huge check in return for services rendered during their reign. These financial windfalls may come under the guise of lobbying, consulting, or speaking fees, but they're almost guaranteed to the upper echelon of any outgoing administration. It's not much of a leap to assume that this is just Obama's way of putting some coins in his purse. This completely editorial assumption demonstrates how the sitting president may benefit financially from what's happening in North Dakota, and may explain his silence on this pivotal issue.
But there is no speculation needed when it comes to Trump's potentially lucrative interest in the Dakota Access Pipeline. It's in his financial statements. If the project fails, it hurts the companies that invested in it, which includes an energy company that has at least a half a million dollars stained with tiny fingerprints from Lil' Donald's daddies wallet floating around in it. The amount of light research that it takes to uncover this massive scandal of money in politics is something that anyone with three minutes and a smart phone can pull off. So why is this 'big league' scandal not being reported as massively as Hillary's emails or Bernie's Socialism? The easy answer is access. Being the unrepentant media whore that he is, Trump is sure to put himself on every friendly outlet's main show for years to come. This means that it's in the best interest of media groups who want future interviews with the president to remain in that “friendly” camp. Maybe not pussy grabbing friendly, but friendly nonetheless. How can a bunch of savages who think they're entitled to clean drinking water and not having their sacred burial sites deracinated by corporate greed possibly hope to compete with the kind of viewership that a tiny handed, egocentric, Tang colored president can achieve?
It also turns out that the protesters have a real reason to fear an oil pipeline running underneath their main water supply. Since 1995, there have been over 2,000 major leaks by oil companies, resulting in more than $3 billion in property damage.
You may be saying “Yeah, Chad. No companies perfect, you pompous little asshole!” And you're right. But let's look at the stakes, and then we'll talk numbers. This isn't like Wendy's accidentally slipping a battered and fried chicken's head into one out of every 8 billion boxes of nuggets. If this pipeline breaches directly underneath a crucial water supply, some lady with an outlet mall version of Victoria Beckham's haircut isn't going to be able to scream at the swing manager until she gets enough buy-one-get-one coupons to shut her up. People will literally die of thirst while they search for the new burial grounds of their uprooted loved ones. North Dakota has plenty of land that isn't dense with drinking water or graveyards, yet Dakota Access, LLC plans to run through both.
Now for some numbers. Energy Transfer Partners is worth a reported 4.2 billion dollars, which is a considerable sum. You may think that they have enough resources to rebuild a devastated community in the unfortunate event of a leak into a water supply, and that's probably true. But consider this; BP was worth $38 billion in 2010 when they bukkaked the Gulf with a leak that lasted months, and all they were able to do was release a half-assed apology video and throw several billion fruitless dollars at the problem while they waited for Kevin Costner to figure out how to plug the hole. The effects of that spill are still being felt today. It's not logical to think that a company almost one tenth the size of BP would sufficiently handle a similar disaster.
Then there's the state violence. I won't convolute this article with the myriad of examples of peaceful protesters being rampaged against by jack-booted government representatives in riot gear, because YouTube is a thing, and I have a word limit. But if you're not aware of the state-sponsored violence against these protesters by now, just peruse firsthand videos of Standing Rock for a few minutes. There's no shortage
At the end of the day, the 'anti-corruption candidate' is entering the Presidential Office in January scandal-ridden on a number of issues, and the DAPL is no exception. No man with a minimum six figure investment in a human rights and environmental disaster on par with what we're seeing in North Dakota right now has any business being in the office that ultimately decides the fate of such a project. Trump's considerable financial involvement in the oil pipeline gives him every reason to continue his anti-environmental stance in order to see the project to fruition, and absolutely zero motivation to execute the will of the people on the matter.
It seems that if you think Trump is the antidote to corruption in politics, you are in for some long-term disappointment.