President Donald Trump signed executive orders that backed the previously shelved projects of oil pipelines from Canada to refineries in the Gulf Coast, US.
The Obama Administration shunned the controversial projects Keystone XL and Dakota Access but Trump aims to revive them, but on the condition that the steel used to make these pipelines would have to be made in the United States. 28000 jobs would be created, if these projects go ahead, said President Trump. His claim was still not enough to deter environmentalists and Native people who still believe that these projects would harm the environment and lead to an unauthorized invasion of private lands.
Donald Trump was seen as a divided figure, not only in the political sphere, during his election campaign but he was touted as not being supportive of environmental friendly initiatives and the executive orders regarding the controversial pipeline was seen widely as one of the first steps that reiterated that stance.
There have been massive demonstrations across the United States, including the much popular Women’s March, which have called on President Trump to protect the interests of minorities, women and the LGBT community in addition to voicing their concerns on the impending decisions that would harm the environment. Trump has moved along on his own stance, despite these demonstrations and protests and up till now, has shown that he remains true to his words.
The pipelines represent the divide prevalent in America right now. Trump’s “America First” motto, in which he is vociferously taking steps that create jobs and revive the US manufacturing sector, is supported by those who love these initiatives which include tax cuts and lower regulations and an open access to business opportunities across the country, while on the other hand remains the group of people who see this as blatant corporate greed and a disregard for the environment and the rights of the common man.
US remains polarized, while Trumponomics remains the policy structure which the American population should start to expect from now onwards. There were massive protests by the Native Americans against the Dakota pipeline project, which were considered by Obama, who shelved the project and started looking for other possible routes. Trump has paid no heed to the protests thus far and it is highly unlikely that he will do something different if the Native Americans are to protest again.