by Claire Bernish
President-Elect Donald Trump has chosen Rick Perry — a sitting board member of the company responsible for constructing the Dakota Access Pipeline — for Secretary of Energy. …
It’s been widely rumored the president-elect plans to remove all obstacles to the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline — and a brief revisiting of Rick Perry’s involvement with the project evinces a high degree of truth to those rumors.
Construction of Dakota Access is now technically on hold following a refusal by the Army Corps of Engineers to issue the easement necessary for the pipeline to run under the Missouri River’s Lake Oahe reservoir — the sole source of drinking water for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe — until a full environmental impact study can be performed.
Energy Transfer Partners, however, immediately balked and vowed to continue constructing the pipeline without rerouting from its current course — and unconfirmed reports indicated the company would or is doing so and plans to pay fines for ignoring the USACE denial of easement. …
Unsurprisingly, Perry’s status as an ETP board member is already expected to be a point of contention during confirmation hearings for his appointment to the DOE — but his ties to the Dakota Access Pipeline project have a decidedly crucial aspect the mainstream press appears to have forgotten.
On February 3, 2015, while facing two state-level felony charges for abuse of power that were later dismissed, Perry landed a fortuitous spot on ETP’s board … Except, there were conflicts of interest … .
Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren contributed massive amounts to Rick Perry’s political career, donating $250,000 to his presidential super PAC in 2012, alone. But, as The Free Thought Project reported previously, that wasn’t the most controversial contribution:
“In 2015, Perry raised eyebrows by kicking off his presidential campaign while failing to resign from ETP’s board, as would be de rigueur for candidates ensuring constituents no conflicts of interest would arise between their private and public lives. Incidentally, and also while Perry remained on the board of directors, Warren —working as the candidate’s campaign finance chairman — contributed an astonishing $6 million to the candidate’s campaign super PACs.”
Perry’s position on ETP’s board of directors presented an astonishingly prime opportunity to ensure the removal of roadblocks the Dakota Access Pipeline faced in becoming an absurdly profitable project for investors — the lifting of a ban on the export of unrefined crude in place since the 1970s. …
Indeed, the voluminous bill carried multiple disparate but equally controversial measures — but none as critical to the oil and gas industry, and ETP specifically, as Section 101’s lifting of the ban on exporting unrefined crude. Dakota Access will transport Bakken sweet, light crude from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to an existing hub in Illinois, where it will then make its way to the Gulf Coast. …
Perry, together with the bill’s sponsor, House Republican Charles ‘Charlie’ Dent — who also stands to profit handily from the Dakota Access Pipeline — worked tirelessly for its passage.
Now, still sitting on Energy Transfer Partners board of directors, Rick Perry will head the Trump administration’s Department of Energy … . With billionaire backers like Warren propping up Perry’s career, it would seem a foregone conclusion the appointment will stand. … And now he will become Secretary of Energy.
People say the system is rigged for the rich and connected — and this is a prime example of why.
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