Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Trump's pipeline orders: a sweetheart gift to Big Oil and an affront to common sense

As president prepares to visit, MN350 urges MN lawmakers to condemn new rules as abuse of power, threat to safety


April 15, 2019

As President Trump prepares for his visit Monday to Minnesota, MN350 and other environmental groups are condemning new executive orders that would expedite the permitting process for risky and reckless oil and gas pipelines.

MN350 is urging state lawmakers to condemn the orders as backward policy, to pledge to oppose them, and to support 100% clean energy in Minnesota.

“These new rules are nothing more than a condolence gift for a dying fossil fuel industry,” said organizer Mysti Babineau. “We need Gov. Walz and lawmakers at the Capitol to call that out when Trump is here Monday. We are the land of 10,000 lakes -- lakes that we want to keep clean. We're the land of 5 million people who truly value all people and value our planet. Trump needs to hear that.”

The president signed the orders last week before a friendly audience of fossil fuel executives, saying they would reduce bureaucratic red tape. “No one in the world actually believes that,” said MN350 spokesman Brett Benson. “This sham is about giving his corrupt appointees the power to fast-track any oil and gas project no matter how much damage it’d cause to our climate.”

One order instructs the Environmental Protection Agency to rewrite the Clean Water Act and reduce the ability of states to oversee environmentally sensitive projects. Another gives Trump the power to deny permits unilaterally for projects he deems to be “caught up in problems.”

In truth, the problem Trump and his corporate cronies are targeting is the determined and powerful community resistance to the Line 3 tar sands pipeline in Minnesota and projects in New York, Washington, California and other states.

“What we’re seeing is fossil fuel companies starting to panic,” Babineau said. “Thousands of us are simply acting on the obvious, that it makes no sense to place corporate profits ahead of preventing damage to our climate. But that scares the heck out of Trump’s fossil fuel friends. So they call him up and get him to stomp on our democracy like this.”

“We all know Trump lives on a different planet,” Benson said. “That explains why he doesn’t care about protecting this one.”


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