Dakota Access Builder Brings Its Lobbying Fight to Washington
Energy Transfer Partners is planning to “take the battle to complete the Dakota Access oil pipeline to Washington” in an attempt to overturn the Obama administration’s unprecedented, eleventh-hour intervention to delay or stop the project, Bloomberg reports.
“We intend to meet with officials in Washington to understand their position and reiterate our commitment to bring the Dakota Access Pipeline into operation,” CEO Kelcy Warren told employees in a memo last week. “We are committed to completing construction and safely operating the Dakota Access Pipeline within the confines of the law.”
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The letter encouraged employees to contact their members of Congress to make the case for the project, the Bismarck Tribune reports. “Tell them how important the pipeline is to their livelihood,” Warren advised. “Remind them that the company fully complied with the regulatory process and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a nationwide permit and other essential permits for our work.”
Bloomberg reported last Wednesday that Energy Transfer Partners’ stock value was down 13% since the federal announcement.
But Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chair David Archambault II pointed to another community entitled to be heard. “It is unfortunate that the corporate world chooses to ignore the millions of people and hundreds of tribal nations who stand in opposition to the destruction of our lands, resources, waters, and sacred sites,” he said.
Meanwhile, DeSmog Blog has been looking into the communications and security contractors ETP hired to push the project through to completion. The energy and environment blog alleges that the pro-pipeline Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now (MAIN) is an industry front group that “may have created fake Twitter profiles, known by some as ‘sock puppets,’ to convey a pro-pipeline message over social media. And MAIN may be employing the PR services of the firm DCI Group, which has connections to the Republican Party, in order to do so.”
DeSmog also reports that UK-based G4S, the company that hired security staff for the pipeline, “has come under fire by the United Nations for human rights abuses allegedly committed while overseeing a BP pipeline in Colombia and elsewhere while on other assignments.” Private security agents used attack dogs and pepper spray to disrupt protesters earlier this month, and an arrest warrant was subsequently issued for the journalist who filmed viral video of the encounters, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!.