Indigenous activists are focusing on the Dakota Access pipeline’s finances before Donald Trump takes office in an effort to further strain the oil corporation and cause continuing delays that they hope could be disastrous for the project.
After the Obama administration denied the company a key permit to finish construction, Native American activists warned that the win was only temporary and that Trump, an investor in the pipeline corporation, would seek to quickly advance the project next year.
Some indigenous advocates and environmental groups have focused their efforts to hurt the pipeline company’s profits on an approaching 1 January deadline that the operator, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), cited in court records.
The firm wrote in a filing this year that the pipeline “committed to complete, test and have DAPL in service” by the start of 2017. And if the company did not meet its contract deadline, then its shippi`ng partners had a “right to terminate their commitments”.
In asking a judge to speedily green-light the $3.8bn project, vice-president Joey Mahmoud claimed that the loss of shippers could “effectively result in project cancellation”, leading advocates and analysts to declare that a missed January deadline could be financially disastrous for ETP and a huge feat for Standing Rock.
But in emails to the Guardian, DAPL spokeswoman Vicki Granado claimed that January was just an “initial target” and not a “contractual date”, which is “much later”, though she refused to say when.