Skip to main content

Trump White House reiterates support for projects like Dakota Access Pipeline

There are still protesters in North Dakota, too.

The new White House, under President Donald Trump, was expected to throw its support behind domestic energy projects such as the Keystone Pipeline and Dakota Access Pipeline.

And Press Secretary Sean Spicer made the administration's first official comments on those projects Monday at a news conference – offering no specifics, but implying Trump could move things forward.

"I'm not going to get in front of the President's executive actions, but I will tell you that areas like the Dakota and Keystone pipeline areas that we can increase jobs, increase economic growth, and tap into America's energy supply," Spicer said. "That's something that he's been very clear about."

Here's the clip where Spicer talks about it.

So while there have been no official actions announced, Trump's position appears to be unchanged from the campaign.

The final piece of the Dakota Access Pipeline would be constructed under Lake Oahe in North Dakota (which is part of the Missouri River) but it was blocked by the Army in December. They said at the time alternate routes needed to be explored.

Trump has said he supports the pipeline project. He once owned shares in the company building it, though a spokesperson has said he sold them off months before being elected.

The company behind it meanwhile said it expects the project to go through – and without a reroute.

The Indigenous Environmental Network, in an email statement, called the White House's position "no surprise."

"Still the fact remains, the pipeline is at a standstill and there has been no official order to reverse the environmental impact study needed to drill under the Missouri River," the group added.

Standing Rock Tribe asks protesters to leave

Protests have continued in the area near Cannon Ball, despite the ruling from the federal government.

The Morton County Sheriff's Office says 21 people were arrested after a third consecutive night of protest activity at the Backwater Bridge Jan. 18.

The crowd grew to about 150 and ignored law enforcement, the sheriff's office said. Demonstrators threw things and officers and tried to get around them – so field commanders were OK'd to use "direct impact sponge rounds, drag stabilizer bean bag rounds, hand deployed pepper spray canisters and smoke riot control CS canisters."

Six law enforcement officers were injured, though none seriously. One protester had a face injury and was taken to a hospital in Bismarck, the sheriff's office said.

Meanwhile, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is asking anyone still at the protest site to leave.

The tribe passed the resolution unanimously, a Facebook post said, with leaders describing "the hardships and strain on the citizens and resources of our Nation."

"For this reason, we ask the protectors to vacate the camps and head home with our most heartfelt thanks. Much work will be required to clean up before the spring thaw, which will flood the area. It is imperative we clean the camps and restore them to their original state before this flooding occurs. Once again, thank you, and we wish you well," the post reads.

Background on the pipeline

Thousands of people protested the Dakota Access Pipeline's construction for months in the Cannon Ball, North Dakota, area. Opponents argued it would threaten the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's water supply and damage sacred lands.

Proponents though say it's actually safer than what's currently happening – as outlined in this Newsweek piece, crude oil travels by rail car right now in danger zones anyway, and pipelines historically have been safer, though there is still risk attached.

The company behind it, Energy Transfer Partners, says the pipeline would eliminate 500-plus rail cars and/or 250-plus trucks needed currently to transport the crude oil every day.

Next Up


Sheriff: Search for 3 kids at Vadnais Lake is 'likely triple homicide'

"A horrible set of facts appears to be developing," said Sheriff Bob Fletcher.

Pixabay laptop keyboard phone dark

Charges: Duluth man had hundreds of child porn images, videos

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children found nearly 330 images on the man's electronic devices.

hennepin county sheriff water patrol lake minnetonka

Scuba diver found dead in Lake Minnetonka identified as 20-year-old

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office said 20-year-old Brady Alan Aune, from Elko New Market, died of freshwater drowning on June 3.

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 11.18.35 AM

Felony charges filed after authorities search 'Peacebunny Cottage'

The president of the rabbit rescue non-profit faces multiple animal cruelty charges after over 40 rabbits were found dead inside the organization's barn.

monkeypox virus

Minnesota up to 6 confirmed cases of monkeypox virus

Most people recover at home within 2-4 weeks.

thc edibles

Did Minnesota just accidentally legalize THC?

A Republican lawmaker who voted to approve the new law in May is already talking about rolling it back.

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 3.19.42 PM

Gasoline may be cause of sewer explosion on U of M campus

An all-clear was given around 9 p.m. Thursday, with residents in the area allowed to return to their homes.


Overwhelming demand for THC products on first day of new law in MN

One shop owner said his Chaska store broke the online sales record before they opened Friday morning.

Flickr - Lake Minnetonka boat - Greg Gjerdingen

Increased drunk boating enforcement over 4th of July weekend

The increased enforcement is part of the Operation Dry Water initiative.


Four kayakers stranded, rescued in Chisholm park

The kayakers became stranded at Redhead Mountain Bike Park Thursday afternoon.


Duo charged after 10-pound meth package sent to wrong address

More than 10 pounds of meth are off the street thanks to a delivery error.

Screen Shot 2022-07-01 at 11.01.32 AM

Bird Rides' suburban expansion continues in Minnesota

Its scooter season in Minnesota. The latest on where you can find Bird e-scooters:


Reports: Dakota Access Pipeline will get permission to build from the Army Corps

The Army Corps of Engineers filed court documents signaling it will allow the pipeline to be built.

People around the world will be protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline today

Demonstrations will be held around the world Tuesday as activists continue to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline. The hope is that this global movement will put pressure on federal officials to revoke the permits for the pipeline.

Trump officially moves to advance the Dakota Access and Keystone pipelines

The two contested pipeline projects – Dakota Access and Keystone XL – have the official backing of the White House.

Sheriff: More than 80 arrested in Dakota Access Pipeline protest

Officials say a group of about 300 protesters marched onto a private construction site near the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The protested North Dakota pipeline will be blocked for (at least) a bit longer

The possibility of letting the pipeline company drill underneath Lake Oahe has been under review.

Rally against Hennepin Co. Sheriff's involvement with N.D. pipeline

Activists rally against Hennepin County's involvement in the North Dakota pipeline protests.

Sorting out which Minnesota agencies are helping at ND pipeline protests – and why

One of the big questions: Why are Minnesota law enforcement agencies at the scene of the North Dakota protest?

Standing Rock calls pipeline ruling a victory – but will DAPL be shut off?

A judge says a thorough oil spill analysis for the Dakota Access Pipeline wasn't done. So what happens next?