Sunday, December 04, 2016

Oil Man

On Saturday, Bernie Sanders tweeted "The United States has a decision to make: do we continue the exploitation of Native Americans or do we treat them with dignity and respect?"

I think the decision has been made.  PBS reports

President-elect Donald Trump supports completion of the disputed Dakota Access oil pipeline in the Midwest, based on policy and not the billionaire businessman’s investments in a partnership building the $3.8 billion pipeline, according to an aide’s memo.

Spokesman Bryan Lanza said in a memo this week to supporters that Trump’s backing for the pipeline near a North Dakota Indian reservation “has nothing to do with his personal investments and everything to do with promoting policies that benefit all Americans.”

It's possible, given Trump's fondness for fossil fuels and the corporations making a killing off them. Still

Trump’s most recent federal disclosure forms, filed in May, show he owned a small amount of stock in Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, the pipeline builder, and at least $100,000 in Phillips 66, an energy company that owns one-quarter of the pipeline.

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said in response to an AP story last week that it is her understanding Trump recently sold his Energy Transfer stock, but she provided no details. Neither Hicks nor other Trump aides have responded to repeated requests for information since then.

Given the cabinet nominations of Steve Mnuchin, Elaine Caho, Tom Price, Wilbur Ross, Betsy DeVos, Mike Pompeo, Jeff Sessions, and even Nikki Haley, Trump's preference for further enriching and empowering fossil fuel companies may be as much an ideological preference as looking out for #1.   Support for the Dakota Access oil pipeline dovetails nicely with both priorities.

With America's Populist, Donald Trump, to take office on January 20, 2017, the dignity and respect Bernie Sanders is looking for will be in short supply, other than for defense contractors, Wall Street firms, fossil fuel companies, and the like.  Activist and author of "The Militarization of Indian Country" Winona LaDuke goes into some detail about pipeline company Enbridge, then concludes

So I'm asking American labor to stand with us and to say "we want peipelines, we want infrastructure that goes for people, that goes for communities and not for companies that are going to destroy our environment and cause more climate change to our planet."

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