By DAN TUOHY
New Hampshire Union Leader
January 24. 2017 1:36PM
A Granite Stater who attended protests of a proposed oil pipeline through North Dakota said he is not surprised to learn President Donald Trump has taken steps to revive the project.
“The struggle continues,” said Lincoln Soldati, a former Strafford County Attorney and retired lawyer from Portsmouth. “I’m very disappointed, but I’m not surprised.”
Trump on Tuesday signed executive orders to advance the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, subject to negotiations, which is a break from former President Barack Obama’s position.
Keystone XL is the TransCanada project that proposes a 1,179-mile oil pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to Steele City, Neb.
Critics, including some of those participating in the protests at Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota late last year, said the opposition would continue.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, an Independent from Vermont who campaigned on the issue in his bid for the Democratic nomination for President in 2016, accused Trump of ignoring “the voices of millions” who are concerned about climate change in order to “put the short-term profits of the fossil fuel industry ahead of the future of our planet.”
Sanders said he would do everything he could to stop the pipeline projects.
Environmentalist and author Bill McKibben announced that he would continue to fight the project, and he pointed to news reports that Trump owns stock in one of the companies building the proposed project.
The Indigenous Environmental Network, in a statement responding to Trump’s orders, said the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other sovereign Native American nations were never consulted by Trump or anyone from his administration. It said the executive orders further violates the treaty rights of those tribes.
That people like Soldati are not surprised by Trump’s focus should come as no surprise in itself. The Republican National Committee platform includes language stating that Obama killed the pipeline to satisfy environmentalists. The GOP platform signaled efforts to revive Keystone and DAPL, describing the pipeline as important for North American energy and energy security. And Trump has long signaled his interest in it.
After Trump’s actions, Soldati called it a “reality of the new America.”