President-elect Donald Trump said he supports the completion of the controversial North Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) project.
Republican Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota said he met with Trump’s transition team to discuss the pipeline project and was not met with any hesitancy about moving forward, despite vigorous protests by Native American tribes in North Dakota, who claim the project could ruin their sources of drinking water.
“Today, Mr. Trump expressed his support for the Dakota Access Pipeline, which has met or exceeded all environmental standards set forth by four states and the Army Corps of Engineers,” Hoeven said in a statement, according to Reuters.
“It is important to know that the new administration will work to help us grow and diversify our energy economy and build the energy infrastructure necessary to move it from where it is produced to where it is needed,” Hoeven added.
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Trump reportedly has a personal business stake in the project. According to Bloomberg, Trump has between $15,000 and $50,000 in stock invested in Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners.
But Trump's transition team said in a statement to campaign supporters and congressional staff that the president-elect's personal investments had no effect on his opinion of the project, which has been protested against not just by Native Americans, but by people across the country and around the world, with thousands of people coming to Standing Rock, North Dakota, to make their voice heard.
“Those making such a claim are only attempting to distract from the fact that President-elect Trump has put forth serious policy proposals he plans to set in motion on Day One,” the statement read, according to the New York Post.