Since winning the election, it’s become increasingly clear that many of Donald Trump’s policy decisions will be influenced by his business interests around the world. For proof, look no further than his recent endorsement of the Dakota Access pipeline.
Trump just so happens to be an investor in Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the polarizing pipeline. And while a memo released by his staff and reported by the Associated Press insists that the president-elect’s support of the pipeline “has nothing to do with his personal investments and everything to do with promoting policies that benefit all Americans,” it’s hard to imagine him denouncing a project that could prove financially beneficial.
Along with defending Trump’s endorsement, the memo also denounced those who have implied that his support of the pipeline hinges on his personal stake in the company that’s overseeing it.
“Those making such a claim are only attempting to distract from the fact that president-elect Trump has put forth serious policy proposals he plans to set in motion on Day One,” the memo reads.
The Obama administration, meanwhile, has put construction of the controversial pipeline on hold, with growing concerns among the Standing Rock Sioux that it poses a threat to their primary water source. Trump, who also owns shares of Phillips 66, another developer involved with the construction of the pipeline, wants to see it completed.
“This is the definition of corruption,” Mary Sweeters of Greenpeace told The Guardian. “The president of the United States should not be trading favors with oil and gas corporations. Millions of people will lose access to a clean water supply, including the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, and the rest of America will face the impacts of catastrophic climate change from burning fossil fuels.”