Hundreds of protesters opposed to the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines took to the streets of Washington on Tuesday night after President Trump signed executive orders clearing the way for the controversial projects to move forward.
Trump’s order to revive the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines has triggered outrage among environmentalists and native American activists.
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The protesters were mostly from Native American tribes who have formed a movement against the projects.
“There’s a man sitting in that house right now who is not going to stand for anyone other than himself,” Eryn Wise, a member of the Jicarilla Apache Nation, told the gathering outside the White House.
“We’re not going away. Welcome to your fourth day!” chanted the others.
The protests signaled the return of a series of protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline , that began in the state of North Dakota last year and spread all across the country.
Led by the Standing Rock Sioux, more than 100 Native American tribes have warned that the four-state pipeline would destroy their sacred sites and contaminate their water resources.
The 1,100-mile (1,770-km) pipeline would be the first to transport crude oil from Bakken shale, a vast oil formation in North Dakota, to refineries in the US Gulf Coast.
The Keystone pipeline, which would bring Canadian crude from Alberta into the US Gulf, was rejected by former President Barack Obama in 2015, following seven years of protest by environmentalists.
During his presidential campaign, Trump said Obama reluctance to give the go-ahead to the projects was indicative of the Democratic Party’s anti-business attitudes.
After signing the orders before a crop of reporters in the Oval Office, Trump said the projects would put Americans back to work.
House Speaker Paul Ryan also hailed the move, saying the projects would “strengthen our nation’s energy supply and help keep energy costs low for American families.”
The protests, which saw heavy crackdown by police, ended last year after DAPL was brought to a halt on Obama’s order.
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