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Labor groups praise Trump’s pipelines order; environmental groups say they’ll fight

Jan. 24, 2017 Updated Tue., Jan. 24, 2017 at 1:38 p.m.

This Sept. 29, 2016, file photo shows a section of the Dakota Access Pipeline under construction near the town of St. Anthony in Morton County, N.D. (Tom Stromme / Associated Press)
This Sept. 29, 2016, file photo shows a section of the Dakota Access Pipeline under construction near the town of St. Anthony in Morton County, N.D. (Tom Stromme / Associated Press)
Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Groups representing manufacturers and laborers are praising President Donald Trump’s executive actions to advance construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines.

Groups including the MAIN Coalition, National Manufacturers Association, The Building Trades and the Laborers’ International Union of North America are calling Tuesday’s orders a victory for workers and consumers.

National Manufacturers Association CEO Jay Timmons says it’s decisive leadership by Trump “to get American energy infrastructure moving forward.” Building Trades President James Callahan says it helps fulfill a Trump campaign promise to create middle-class jobs.

Association of Oil Pipe Lines CEO Andrew Black says the two pipelines also will help the goal of “plentiful, affordable energy” for consumers.

North Dakota Petroleum Council President Ron Ness also touts “energy and economic security.”

Trump signed the executive orders on Tuesday, drawing strong backlash from environmentalists and other opponents.

Meanwhile, environmental groups are promising to fight actions by Trump to advance construction of the pipelines.

The groups speaking out include the Sierra Club, Indigenous Environmental Network, Bold Alliance, Environmental Defense Canada and Natural Resources Defense Council.

Dallas Goldtooth is an organizer with Indigenous Environmental Network. He calls Trump’s actions “nothing short of attacks on our ancestral homelands.” He says it could again ignite protests against the Dakota Access pipeline, though he says to what degree isn’t known.

Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune says Trump’s actions will create “a wall of resistance and defiance the likes of which the president has never imagined.”

Bill McKibben with the group calls Trump “a con man” and says his actions will be fought “in the courts and in the streets.”

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe believes Trump is breaking the law with his order.

The tribe has fought for months against the pipeline that passes near its reservation on the North Dakota-South Dakota border. Tribal leaders argue that it risks contaminating water, and they’re promising to fight Trump’s action in court.

Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault said Trump must honor treaty rights and “provide a fair and reasonable pipeline process.”

He says Trump’s decision is payback to wealthy contributors at the risk of the tribe’s water.

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