President Donald Trump is unlikely to give Americans a full accounting of his decision to cancel the Dakota pipeline, according to a new report.
“In the event that the president were to give a full-throated, and in some cases complete, accounting of what he did, it is hard to see how he would agree to the pipeline’s future in a place where it will be impossible to have the same transparency as a government entity,” said Matthew Breen, an attorney and former director of the Environmental Defense Fund’s Energy & Policy Program.
Breen told The Hill that Trump would likely not offer the public an account of his actions.
“The president’s decision to pull out of the Dakota is going to be a political event that will probably be seen as a distraction from the real issues that will be facing Americans, including the continuing threat of climate change and energy insecurity,” Breen said.
“If the president is going down that road, then he’s going to have to face a very difficult time justifying his actions on the national stage.”
Breen also pointed out that the Trump administration has made significant changes to its energy policies since his inauguration, including a reversal of a rule limiting carbon emissions from power plants, and a proposal to revive the Dakota oil pipeline.
“Trump is going into the first year of his presidency with a very different energy agenda, and there is a very real possibility that he will take the next few months to assess the impact of the Trump policies on his energy policies,” Bresnan said.
The Trump administration announced in April that it would pull out from the Dakota project after the Army Corps of Engineers ruled in December that the pipeline would not be built.
Bresnar also noted that there has been a change in Trump administration priorities since Trump took office.
Bresnan noted that Trump’s transition team is currently reviewing several proposals for energy infrastructure projects that would require federal approval.