Trump claims ‘nobody showed up to fight’ the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The president blithely ignores months of protests and violent attacks by police.
He says he hasn’t received one phone call about controversial executive actions.
Construction on DAPL will likely resume in a matter of hours.
In an apparent pattern of ignoring facts, President Donald Trump met with the press to discuss recent executive actions allowing construction of both the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines — saying, of the latter, no one bothered calling to express opposition:
“Years of getting approvals, nobody showed up to fight it.”
Of course, months of protests, court deliberations, and official statements from the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes, evince the utter nonsense Trump has become fond of flippantly offering in place of evidence. How does one expose the truth when the facts blink neon red while the president spews whatever drivel he pleases, regardless?
“As you know, I approved two pipelines that were stuck in limbo forever,” Trump said of Dakota Access and a previously pending environmental impact study, and former President Obama’s shooting down of KXL. “I don’t even think it was controversial. You know, I approved them and I haven’t even heard one call from anybody saying, ‘oh, that was a terrible thing you did.’ I haven’t had one call.”
While Trump might be solely referring to his brief time in office, for the president to ignore scores of vitriolic protests breaking out cities across the United States upon his executive actions — all of which were covered by the media to some degree — shows blatant disregard for fact, or troubling intentional dismissal.
As far as controversial goes, Energy Transfer Partners waged a behind-the-scenes PR campaign to ensure the Dakota Access Pipeline would be legally permitted to export unrefined crude for profit — for the first time since a ban was imposed in the 1970s over oil embargos.
And it doesn’t get much more controversial than an oil corporation backed by the U.S. government using taxpayer dollars to employ police to beat, maim, and brutalize unarmed Native Americans seeking to protect their water supply from crude contamination and further violations of treaties deeming land in the area sovereign.
“You know, usually, if I do something it’s like bedlam, right? I haven’t had one call from anybody,” Trump asserted, adding Keystone XL would provide 30,000 much-needed jobs for Americans — not elaborating for the uninformed the project would actually only leave 35 permanent positions once construction is complete.
“As you know, I did the Dakota pipeline and nobody called up to complain,” he continued, “because it was unfair. Years of getting approvals, nobody showed up to fight it. This company spends a tremendous — hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars, and then all of a sudden, people show up to fight it. It’s not fair to our companies. And I think everyone is going to be happy in the end, okay?”
Again, the majority of people whose drinking water will be affected in the event of a disastrous leak — such as the Standing Rock Sioux and nearly 18 million others — in no way equate approved pipelines with happiness.
Nor would they agree without laughing that any facet of DAPL’s ultimate approval was ‘unfair’ to the company.
Nor would the thousands of Native, Indigenous, and non-Native water protectors who traveled from points all over the globe to join in physical solidarity with the tribe.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will shortly approve the easement for ETP to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline’s route under the Missouri River’s Lake Oahe reservoir — and, it is presumed, construction will commence immediately.
President Trump might be enjoying his bubble shielded from reality, but for members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and water protectors still camped in North Dakota, this is the last stand in a battle for the most basic of human needs.
And the whole world is watching — whether or not Trump finds the powderkeg controversial.