Cultural Connection

Trumps Green Light a Disaster

Cultural Connection

Miranda Martinez, Cactus Writer

With only three days of governing under President Trump’s belt, he has restarted two projects that were met with nearly universal disdain under President Obama. On January 24th President Trump gave the go-ahead to continue construction on two controversial oil pipelines: The Keystone XL Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline. Trump said at the signing that he “is going to renegotiate some of the terms” of the Keystone project, which would carry crude oil from the tar sands of Western Canada and connect to an existing pipeline that leads to the Gulf Coast.
The pipelines’ construction had been blocked during the Obama administration. Former President Obama negated the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline in late 2015, declaring it would have undercut U.S. efforts to reach a global climate change deal, a centerpiece of his environmental legacy. The State Department rejected a permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline, and President Obama ordered work to halt after Native American groups and other activists protested its construction near culturally sensitive sites in North Dakota. Mr. Trump said the Keystone XL pipeline will mean “a lot of jobs, 28,000 construction jobs, great construction jobs.”
Mr. Trump also signed a decree that the pipelines will be built with American steel, “like we used to in the old days,” and two other edicts: one which will streamline “the incredibly cumbersome, long, horrible permitting process and reducing regulatory burdens for domestic manufacturing. In addition, Trump signed this decree into executive action, which would heavily loosen regulations. Regulatory process in this country “has become a tangled-up mess,” Trump opined. The executive order is aimed to expedite environmental reviews for high-priority infrastructure projects.
Trump moved quickly his first week to quickly sign off on all these changes and follow up on his claims of bringing more jobs to the United States. Unfortunately, he is doing so even if it means destroying sacred land and contaminating drinking water, not to mention wildlife habitats. In the week that followed this singing, Trump signed a memorandum withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a massive trade agreement.
Trump has signed many such memorandums during his first two weeks, including one freezing a significant amount of governmental hiring, though the military is not included in this cut. Instead, the United States will invest capital in dangerous pipelines and an unnecessary wall. One of President Obama’s best decisions during his tenure has been reversed after about three months. The timeline of this pipeline has now been moved forward with even less regulation and more land at risk.

It is a tragedy.