Dakota Access Oil Starts Flowing on Day of Trump's Withdrawal From Paris Climate Accord

Bibi Mareno hugs her friend Steven Paul as they leave the Oceti Sakowin protest camp before a 2 p.m. deadline to vacate in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, Feburary 22, 2017. (Photo: Nick Cote / The New York Times)Bibi Mareno hugs her friend Steven Paul as they leave the Oceti Sakowin protest camp before a 2 pm deadline to vacate in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, Feburary 22, 2017. (Photo: Nick Cote / The New York Times)

Players in the dirty energy industry aren’t just giddy about the withdrawal of the US from the Paris Climate Accord.

If President Trump does follow through on his campaign promise to pull out of the multilateral agreement, as widely anticipated on Thursday afternoon, the withdrawal will happen on the same day that the Dakota Access Pipeline was inaugurated. [Editor’s note: Trump is reportedly pulling out of the climate agreement.]

The manufacturer of the controversial pipeline said Thursday morning that the vessel is now “in commercial service.”

“The $3.8 billion Dakota Access consists of approximately 1,172 miles of 30-inch diameter pipeline traversing North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois,” Energy Transfer Partners boasted in a press release.

The pipeline, which will connect oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota all the way down to terminals near the Gulf of Mexico, was vociferously opposed in a movement led by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and other indigenous nations. Opponents of the project said it would threaten clean water and sites that are sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux.

Protests against construction of Dakota Access raged for months last year, eventually forcing the Obama administration to delay approval of the fossil fuel infrastructure. The delay was quickly reversed by the Trump administration, after President Trump’s inauguration (a celebration funded, in part, by an Energy Transfer Partners executive).

Demonstrators had been met with violent law enforcement officials, who deployed chemical weapons and water cannons in freezing temperatures. Police also sicced attack dogs on protesters, in images that were transmitted around the world.

Earlier this week, The Intercept revealed that Energy Transfer Partners employed a private…

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