This DeSmog investigative series explores the controversial proposed Dakota Access pipeline owned by Fortune 500 company Energy Transfer Partners that would shuttle Bakken oil from North Dakota to Patoka, Illinois, cutting through Iowa.
On February 3, 2015, Energy Transfer Partners named Rick Perry, the former governor of Texas and Trump Energy Secretary, to its Board of Directors. While Perry's spokesman claimed in repeated news stories that Perry would not publicly advocate for the pipeline in Iowa — the host of the Iowa Caucuses that typically determines the Republican candidate for president — Perry had already promoted the pipeline in a TV interview airing on February 1, just two days before he joined the board of the company. Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren, a major donor who contributed $250,000 to Perry's 2012 presidential race super PAC, was on the advisory board of Rick PAC, which served as Perry's 2016 presidential campaign war chest.
What will be the fate of the proposed Dakota Access pipeline — which faces stiff opposition from conservatives and liberals alike for its risks to property rights, threat to Native American water sources and cultural sites, prized agricultural lands, and the environment — in the Trump administration?
Series image: “Happy” American Horse from the Sicangu Nation locked himself to equipment at a Dakota Access pipeline construction site on August 31, 2016. Credit: Desiree Kane, Creative Commons, Attribution 3.0 Unported