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article imageTrump investments raise question of conflict of interest in DAPL

By Karen Graham     Nov 28, 2016 in Politics
It has been confirmed that Donald Trump does have investments in Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) and Phillips 66, which has a one-quarter share of the Dakota Access project. This is in addition to ownership stakes he holds in over 500 companies worldwide.
The Associated Press is reporting that President-elect Trump's most recent federal disclosure forms show he has up to a $50,000 investment in ETP and up to a $250,000 investment in Phillips 66, which has a one-quarter share of Dakota Access. The ETP investment figures are down from the nearly $1.0 million he had invested in them a year ago.
While Trump's investments in the Dakota Access Pipeline may seem modest, compared to the huge investments he has around the world, ethics experts have said his DAPL and other investments have raised serious questions about potential conflicts that could be resolved if his investments were placed into a blind trust, something he refuses to do.
But needless to say, the prolonged protest movement over the DAPL is looking like it will drag on into 2017. If this is the case, it will be left to Trump to make the final decision on the pipeline. And we already know that Trump has said during the campaign he would "unleash" unfettered oil and gas production in the U.S.
Trump also supports the Keystone XL pipeline. In May, he said the pipeline would have no environmental impact. "I would absolutely approve it, 100 percent," Trump was quoted by EcoWatch as saying.
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While news media have been investigating Trump's conflicting business interests around the world, it was learned on November 24 that another major Norwegian investor had sold their shares in the companies behind the DAPL,
Odin Fund Management, one of Norway's leading fund managers, announced last Thursday that it sold $23.8 million (243 million NOK) worth of shares invested in the companies. SpareBank 1, which offers Odin Funds said they have strong ethical standards.
SpareBank 1 added that "as a result of information in the press recently Odin Management has undergone analyses of companies heavier involved in the pipeline in question. We see then that this project in isolation is challenging with regard to social responsibility. For this reason, we have chosen to divest the fund's shares in Marathon Petroleum."
In showing the world's interest in what is going on in North Dakota, the Sami, an indigenous people living in the far north of Europe are working closely with attorneys at Standing Rock encampment to get all Norway's investment institutions to divest from the DAPL. "Now it's time for DNB to be accountable," Beaska Niillas, Norwegian Sami Association, said. "DNB made the promise themselves: 'we won't be part of projects that violate Indigenous and human rights.' We provided them with information, and after they've seen the pictures and videos, there should no longer be doubt in their minds ... The only right thing to do in this urgent situation — terminate the loans."
More about DAPL, Donald trump, conflict of interest, Energy Transfer Partners
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