Donald Trump’s ‘America Last’ energy policy

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Donald Trump displays an executive order reviving the Keystone XL pipeline.

With President Donald Trump’s revival of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, the gauntlet has been thrown down between Americans who care for the environment and the crony capitalists who want to pillage it. Supporters who gravitated toward Trump’s economic message applauded his executive orders, but the pipelines have little to do with job creation. Far from following through on campaign rhetoric, Donald Trump’s energy policy can best be described as America Last.

Americans will suffer the consequences of these pipelines. When they break, as pipelines routinely do – 140,000 gallons of oil leaked in Iowa the day after Trump signed the executive orders – the spills will contaminate American land and American water. When the few remaining traces of our beloved public lands are given away  by the GOP and ravaged by corporate interests, Americans will live in an uglier world deprived of wilderness and natural beauty. Continue reading

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Crony capitalism goes into overdrive as Trump resurrects pipelines

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Oil giant Bechtel lays a pipeline in Idaho.

Capitalists don’t come any cronier than America’s new president. The latest example, however, is particularly egregious, destructive, and obvious. Reversing some of the most hard-fought gains of environmental activists in the last several years, Donald Trump issued an executive order to push the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines forward. Continue reading

DAPL standoff is textbook little guy vs. big business/big government

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On one front, militarized police in riot gear; on the other, protesters with drums.

While the news cycle remains fixated on Washington politics, the biggest story in America is unfolding in a remote region of North Dakota. In the small town of Cannon Ball on the Standing Rock Sioux Indian reservation, activists are defending sacred burial ground and their community’s water supply against construction of a major oil pipeline. Militarized police and private security forces are there to ensure the project is completed, arresting reporters and assaulting protesters.

In America’s hotly divided political and social climate, it’s rare to find a conflict in which one party is so clearly right and the other so clearly wrong. Continue reading

Democrats have a lot to learn from Bernie Sanders

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Bernie Sanders appears with Native American leaders to express his opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Hillary Clinton’s stock is falling. Even her prominent surrogates and media advocates are conceding that Donald Trump has a serious chance of becoming the next president. The two historically unpopular candidates are neck-and-neck in national polls and Clinton has fallen behind in crucial swing states like Florida and Ohio. Meanwhile her primary challenger, Bernie Sanders, is surging, boasting an 87 percent approval rating among his electorate and enjoying a nationwide favorability of +18 to Clinton’s -14.

Any Democrat worried about the outcome of the 2016 election should be analyzing that discrepancy. All during the primary, the news media and Clinton’s surrogates pushed the narrative that she was the strongest general election candidate. Now is the time for establishment Democrats to take their cues from Sanders and his supporters. If she maintains her current course, Clinton probably cannot win this election. Continue reading