Trump's "Manifestly Cruel" Education Budget Would Crush Kids' Dreams

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by Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

www.commondreams.org

Trump's "Manifestly Cruel" Education Budget Would Crush Kids' Dreams

Sen. Elizabeth Warren calls Trump-DeVos budget 'an all-out assault on America’s kids, teachers, college students & student loan borrowers'

As expected, President Donald Trump's budget calls for deep cuts to public education while bolstering school choice schemes, leading top education advocates to decry the plan as out-of-touch and "manifestly cruel to kids."

In line with the leaked document reported on last week by the Washington Post, Trump's budget proposal would eliminate or reduce funding for a number of critical education initiatives, including before- and after-school programs; a work-study program that helps low-income students pay for college; state grants for career and technical education; and teacher training. 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) went off on the cuts in a video posted to Twitter on Tuesday, in which she specifically called out Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. "The big complaint was that this is a woman who does not believe in public education," Warren said, referring to DeVos' confirmation hearings. "Well, she just proved it."

Watch below:

    .@realDonaldTrump’s @usedgov budget is an all-out assault on America’s kids, teachers, college students & student loan borrowers. pic.twitter.com/F1UoJTPdrd

    — Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) May 22, 2017

Amid all these cuts, there is one area that would see a boost in Trump's budget: school choice. "In the White House's spending proposal, hundreds of millions of the dollars would go toward charter-school and voucher initiatives, while another $1 billion in grants would encourage states to adopt school-choice policies," Alia Wong wrote for The Atlantic on Tuesday. 

Indeed, DeVos—a former lobbyist for such initiatives—told an audience on Monday night that opponents of school-choice programs are "flat-earthers" who have "chilled creativity."

This is despite the fact that, as American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten noted Tuesday, "the most recent studies, including one on the D.C. voucher program by DeVos' own Education Department, show that vouchers hurt kids."

In a statement, Weingarten highlighted more "hypocrisy" embedded in the budget proposal:

    While Trump and DeVos chose private schools for their kids, with small class sizes, they want to eliminate the federal funding that helps America's public schools lower class sizes.

    While Trump and DeVos can afford whatever their children and grandchildren need or want, and while Ivanka Trump got $19 billion for her parental leave project, the budget completely zeros out all current federal programs that keep millions of poor kids safe and well-fed in after-school and summer programs.

    Trump says there is nothing more important than being a teacher, but he eliminates the loan forgiveness program that helps students pursue teaching careers, eliminates funding for teacher preparation and educator support, and guts most other programs that alleviate student debt or make college more affordable.

    Trump says vocational education is the way of the future yet slashes career and technical education funding.

    DeVos promised not to hurt children with special needs, but the budget cuts one-quarter of the Medicaid funding that now pays for essential school-based services like physical therapists, feeding tubes and other medical equipment, and health screenings.

Bottom line, said National Education Association president Lily Eskelsen García, "This budget once again illustrates why the American people have no confidence in Donald Trump or Betsy DeVos when it comes to education. They just don't get it. The priorities President Trump outlined in his budget are reckless and wrong for students and working families. If enacted, the Trump budget will crush the dreams of students, deprive millions of opportunities, and make it harder for students to access higher education."

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Trump's Muslim Ban 2.0, "Dripping With Intolerance," Ruled Unconstitutional

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by Deirdre Fulton, staff writer May 25, 2017

www.commondreams.org

Trump's Muslim Ban 2.0, "Dripping With Intolerance," Ruled Unconstitutional

'Over and over we are seeing the courts and the public soundly reject this blatant attempt to write bigotry into law'

A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that President Donald Trump's revised Muslim Ban, issued in March and lambasted by rights groups, is unconstitutional. 

The full Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals heard the case earlier this month. In a 10-3 decision (pdf) on Thursday, the panel upheld a lower court's nationwide preliminary injunction on Trump's executive order, which blocked for 90 days people from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. The revised order, like the one it replaced, also suspended the nation's refugee program for 120 days and reduced the annual number of refugees to 50,000 from 120,000.

Citing statements made by Trump and surrogates, the Fourth Circuit ruling said the majority was "unconvinced" that the order "has more to do with national security than it does with effectuating the president's proposed Muslim ban." On the 2016 campaign trail, Trump called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States."

The ruling refers to an executive order "that in text speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination."

It continues:

Congress granted the President broad power to deny entry to aliens, but that power is not absolute. It cannot go unchecked when, as here, the President wields it through an executive edict that stands to cause irreparable harm to individuals across this nation

Rights groups celebrated the decision. 

“President Trump's Muslim ban violates the Constitution, as this decision strongly reaffirms," said Omar Jadwat, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's (ACLU) Immigrants' Rights Project, who argued the case. "The Constitution's prohibition on actions disfavoring or condemning any religion is a fundamental protection for all of us, and we can all be glad that the court today rejected the government's request to set that principle aside."

Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International USA, added: "Over and over we are seeing the courts and the public soundly reject this blatant attempt to write bigotry into law. Rather then wait for yet another court to rule against it, Congress can and must take action that will end this discriminatory and dangerous policy once and for all."

Lawmakers also weighed in:

CNN, whose legal analyst Steve Vladeck called the decision a "huge loss" for Trump, described Thursday's ruling as "the latest step on a likely trip to the Supreme Court." The White House has not yet issued a statement. 

Meanwhile, Karen Tumlin, legal director of the National Immigration Law Center, offered a sobering reminder: "While the spotlight today is on the Muslim ban, the truth is that this executive order is just one part of President Trump's xenophobic agenda. We will continue to fight to ensure that all people—regardless of where they were born, what they earn, or how they pray—can live freely and be treated fairly in this country."

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Trump's War on Science Forces Federal Officials to Consider Polluters' Demands

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by Jessica Corbett, staff writer, August 3, 2017

www.commondreams.org

Trump's War on Science Forces Federal Officials to Consider Polluters' Demands

"The administration is seriously weakening EPA's mission by vigorously pursuing an industry deregulation approach."

 

Following Elizabeth "Betsy" Southerland's viral resignation letter (pdf), in which the longtime Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official lambasted the Trump administration's troubling deregulatory agenda, she is now sharing details about how the agency's staffers spend their days addressing polluters' demands to rescind environmental regulations.

As Sharon Lerner reported, based on Southerland's claims that EPA staffers are "now devoted to regulatory rollback based on the requests from industry," and an agency spreadsheet obtained by The Intercept:

Companies and trade groups have directly asked EPA administrator Scott Pruitt for some changes. Other requests have come in through public comments in response to Executive Order 13777, which the White House issued in February. That executive order directed federal agencies including the EPA to suggest regulations to be changed, repealed, or replaced.

The overwhelming majority of the more than 467,000 public responses to the EPA about the executive order urged the agency not to roll back environmental regulations.... But Southerland said that a working group headed by EPA associate administrator Samantha Dravis and the agency's chief of staff, Ryan Jackson—both of whom were appointed by Scott Pruitt—cherry-picked industry comments calling for rollback and submitted them to scientists and other career employees at the agency.

"They pulled out the ones from the industry—the coal, electric power, oil and natural gas areas, just them—and sent them around and asked us to respond within one day about whether we agreed with the request for a repeal," Southerland told Lerner.

The former official also said agency staffers are rejecting industry demands, because there's no new scientific evidence or data to support the rollbacks, but she also warned about the Trump and Pruitt's continued willingness to push for polluters' proposals.

"There is no question the administration is seriously weakening EPA's mission by vigorously pursuing an industry deregulation approach and defunding implementation of environmental programs."

—Betsy Southerland, former EPA official

"There is no question," Southerland told the Washington Post, "the administration is seriously weakening EPA's mission by vigorously pursuing an industry deregulation approach and defunding implementation of environmental programs."

As the Post noted, "Southerland's resignation came during the same month that a Union of Concerned Scientists report said Trump is creating a 'hostile environment for scientific staff.'"

The UCS report detailed how the Trump administration's war on science encompasses the EPA, but also extends to other federal agencies—such as the Department of Interior, where dozens of top climate scientists have been reassigned "for telling the truth," according to The Nation.

"A clear pattern has emerged over the first six months of the Trump presidency: multiple actions by his administration are eroding the ability of science, facts, and evidence to inform policy decisions, leaving us more vulnerable to threats to public health and the environment," the UCS report stated.

"The Trump administration is attempting to delegitimize science, it is giving industries more ability to influence how and what science is used in policymaking, and it is creating a hostile environment for federal agency scientists who serve the public," the report also said, aligned with Southerland's claims.

Southerland, who spent three of her four-decade career working on the agency's Superfund and Water programs, said she circulated her resignation letter because "I felt it was my civic duty to explain the impact of this administration's policies on public health and safety."

Outlining the administration's actions with regard to the EPA so far, Southerland, wrote (pdf):

The major budget cuts to EPA, state and tribal environmental programs and the potential repeal of many existing regulations and science documents...is an industry deregulation approach based on abandonment of the polluter pays principle that underlies all environmental statutes and regulations.

She also expressed concern for the future, noting that "environmental catastrophes have often occurred when there was a decision to roll the dice and achieve a short-term gain at the risk of disastrous long-term costs," pointing to Hurricane Katrina and the water crisis in Flint, Michigan as examples.

"The best case for our children and grandchildren is that they will pay the polluters' bills through increased state taxes, new user fees, and higher water and sewer bills," she wrote. "The worst case is that they will have to live with increased public health and safety risks and a degraded environment."

Southerland's resignation letter was published by the non-profit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Kyla Bennett, PEER's New England director—and a scientist and attorney who formerly worked with the EPA—said: "In Pruitt's EPA it is hard to identify even a single action to better protect the environment…. Increasingly, principled professionals, who have proudly served administrations from both parties, are under orders to betray, rather than serve, the public interest by remaining at EPA."

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Trump’s ‘Wag the Dog’ Moment

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By Robert Parry

www.consortiumnews.com

Trump’s ‘Wag the Dog’ Moment

Exclusive:

President Trump earned neocon applause for his hasty decision to attack Syria and kill about a dozen Syrians, but his rash act has all the earmarks of a “wag the dog” 

Just two days after news broke of an alleged poison-gas attack in northern Syria, President Trump brushed aside advice from some U.S. intelligence analysts doubting the Syrian regime’s guilt and launched a lethal retaliatory missile strike against a Syrian airfield.

Trump immediately won plaudits from Official Washington, especially from neoconservatives who have been trying to wrestle control of his foreign policy away from his nationalist and personal advisers since the days after his surprise victory on Nov. 8.

There is also an internal dispute over the intelligence. On Thursday night, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. intelligence community assessed with a “high degree of confidence” that the Syrian government had dropped a poison gas bomb on civilians in Idlib province.

But a number of intelligence sources have made contradictory assessments, saying the preponderance of evidence suggests that Al Qaeda-affiliated rebels were at fault, either by orchestrating an intentional release of a chemical agent as a provocation or by possessing containers of poison gas that ruptured during a conventional bombing raid.

One intelligence source told me that the most likely scenario was a staged event by the rebels intended to force Trump to reverse a policy, announced only days earlier, that the U.S. government would no longer seek “regime change” in Syria and would focus on attacking the common enemy, Islamic terror groups that represent the core of the rebel forces.

The source said the Trump national security team split between the President’s close personal advisers, such as nationalist firebrand Steve Bannon and son-in- law Jared Kushner, on one side and old-line neocons who have regrouped under National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, an Army general who was a protégé of neocon favorite Gen. David Petraeus.

White House Infighting

In this telling, the earlier ouster of retired Gen. Michael Flynn as national security adviser and this week’s removal of Bannon from the National Security Council were key steps in the reassertion of neocon influence inside the Trump presidency. The strange personalities and ideological extremism of Flynn and Bannon made their ousters easier, but they were obstacles that the neocons wanted removed.

Though Bannon and Kushner are often presented as rivals, the source said, they shared the belief that Trump should tell the truth about Syria, revealing the Obama administration’s CIA analysis that  a fatal sarin gas attack in 2013 was a “false-flag” operation intended to sucker President Obama into fully joining the Syrian war on the side of the rebels — and the intelligence analysts’ similar beliefs about Tuesday’s incident.

Instead, Trump went along with the idea of embracing  the initial rush to judgment blaming Assad for the Idlib poison-gas event. The source added that Trump saw Thursday night’s missile assault as a way to change the conversation in Washington, where his administration has been under fierce attack from Democrats claiming that his election resulted from a Russian covert operation

If changing the narrative was Trump’s goal, it achieved some initial success with several of Trump’s fiercest neocon critics, such as neocon Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, praising the missile strike, as did Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The neocons and Israel have long sought “regime change” in Damascus even if the ouster of Assad might lead to a victory by Islamic extremists associated with Al Qaeda and/or the Islamic State.

Wagging the Dog

Trump employing a “wag the dog” strategy, in which he highlights his leadership on an international crisis to divert attention from domestic political problems, is reminiscent of President Bill Clinton’s threats to attack Serbia in early 1999 as his impeachment trial was underway over his sexual relationship with  intern Monica Lewinsky. (Clinton also was accused of a “wag-the-dog” strategy when he fired missiles at supposed Al Qaeda bases in Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998 in retaliation for the bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.)Trump’s advisers, in briefing the press on Thursday night, went to great lengths to highlight Trump’s compassion toward the victims of the poison gas and his decisiveness in bombing Assad’s military in contrast to Obama’s willingness to allow the intelligence community to conduct a serious review of the evidence surrounding the 2013 sarin-gas case.

Ultimately, Obama listened to his intelligence advisers who told him there was no “slam-dunk” evidence implicating Assad’s regime and he pulled back from a military strike at the last minute – while  publicly maintaining the fiction that the U.S. government was certain of Assad’s guilt.

In both cases – 2013 and 2017 – there were strong reasons to doubt Assad’s responsibility. In 2013, he had just invited United Nations inspectors into Syria to investigate cases of alleged rebel use of chemical weapons and thus it made no sense that he would launch a sarin attack in the Damascus suburbs, guaranteeing that the U.N. inspectors would be diverted to that case.

Similarly, now, Assad’s military has gained a decisive advantage over the rebels and he had just scored a major diplomatic victory with the Trump administration’s announcement that the U.S. was no longer seeking “regime change” in Syria. The savvy Assad would know that a chemical weapon attack now would likely result in U.S. retaliation and jeopardize the gains that his military has achieved with Russian and Iranian help. 

The counter-argument to this logic – made by The New York Times and other neocon-oriented news outlets – essentially maintains that Assad is a craze barbarian who was testing out his newfound position of strength by baiting President Trump. Of course, if that were the case, it would have made sense that Assad would have boasted of his act, rather than deny it.

But logic and respect for facts no longer prevail inside Official Washington, nor inside the mainstream U.S. news media.

Intelligence Uprising

Alarm within the U.S. intelligence community about Trump’s hasty decision to attack Syria reverberated from the Middle East back to Washington, where former CIA officer Philip Giraldi reported hearing from his intelligence contacts in the field that they were shocked at how the new poison-gas story was being distorted by Trump and the mainstream U.S. news media.

Giraldi told Scott Horton’s Webcast: “I’m hearing from sources on the ground in the Middle East, people who are intimately familiar with the intelligence that is available who are saying that the essential narrative that we’re all hearing about the Syrian government or the Russians using chemical weapons on innocent civilians is a sham.”

Giraldi said his sources were more in line with an analysis postulating an accidental release of the poison gas after an Al Qaeda arms depot was hit by a Russian airstrike. “The intelligence confirms pretty much the account that the Russians have been giving ... which is that they hit a warehouse where the rebels – now these are rebels that are, of course, connected with Al Qaeda – where the rebels werestoring chemicals of their own and it basically caused an explosion that resulted in the casualties. Apparently the intelligence on this is very clear.”

Giraldi said the anger within the intelligence community over the distortion of intelligence to justify Trump’s military retaliation was so great that some covert officers were considering going public.

“People in both the agency [the CIA] and in the military who are aware of the intelligence are freaking out about this because essentially Trump completely misrepresented what he already should have known – but maybe he didn’t – and they’re afraid that this is moving toward a situation that could easily turn into an armed conflict,” Giraldi said before Thursday night’s missile strike. “They are astonished by how this is being played by the administration and by the U.S. media.”

One-Sided Coverage

The mainstream U.S. media has presented the current crisis with the same profound neocon bias that has infected the coverage of Syria and the larger Middle East for decades. For instance, The New York Times on Friday published a lead story by Michael R. Gordon and Michael D. Shear that treated the Syrian government’s responsibility for the poison-gas incident as flat-fact. The lengthy story did not even deign to include the denials from Syria and Russia that they were responsible for any intentional deployment of poison gas.

The article also fit with Trump’s desire that he be portrayed as a decisive and forceful leader. He is depicted as presiding over intense deliberations of war or peace and displaying a deep humanitarianism regarding the poison-gas victims, one of the rare moments when the Times, which has become a reliable neocon propaganda sheet, has written anything favorable about Trump at all.

According to Syrian reports on Friday, the U.S. attack killed 13 people, including five soldiers at the airbase.

Gordon, whose service to the neocon cause is notorious, was the lead author with Judith Miller of the Times’ bogus “aluminum tube” story in 2002 which falsely claimed that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was reconstituting a nuclear-weapons program, an article that was then cited by President George W. Bush’s aides as a key argument for invading Iraq in 2003.

Regarding this week’s events, Trump’s desperation to reverse his negative media coverage and the dubious evidence blaming Assad for the Idlib incident could fit with the “Wag the Dog” movie from 1997 in which an embattled president creates a phony foreign crisis in Albania.

In the movie, the White House operation is a cynical psychological operation to convince the American people that innocent Albanian children, including an attractive girl carrying a cat, are in danger when, In reality, the girl was an actor posing before a green screen that allowed scenes of fiery ruins to be inserted as background.

Today, because Trump and his administration are now committed to convincing  Americans that Assad really was responsible for Tuesday’s poison-gas tragedy, the prospects for a full and open investigation are effectively ended. We may never know if there is truth to those allegations or whether we are being manipulated by another “wag the dog” psyop.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in   print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).

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Tsunami of Outrage, Vows of Resistance Follow Trump's Pipeline Order

Written by Super User on . Posted in Front News

by Lauren McCauley, staff writer

www.commondreams.org

Tsunami of Outrage, Vows of Resistance Follow Trump's Pipeline Order

"We will resist this with all of our power and we will continue to build the future the world wants to see," said Greenpeace's Annie Leonard

 

 

President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed executive orders advancing the controversial Keystone XL (KXL) and Dakota Access (DAPL) pipelines, prompting a tsunami of outrage and vows of bold resistance from the Indigenous activists, climate campaigners, and countless others who have fought against these projects.

Tweets about #NODAPL OR #NoKXL

The Associated Press confirmed the orders had been signed after earlier reports citing anonymous officials indicated they were in the works.

Many environmental groups who fiercely fought against both projects were quick to condemn the move, declaring, as 350.org did, "We have no alternative but to resist."

350.org co-founder Bill McKibben issued a statement declaring the moment "a dark day for reason."

"More people sent comments against Dakota Access and Keystone XL to the government than any project in history. The world's climate scientists and its Nobel laureates explained over and over why it was unwise and immoral," McKibben said. "In one of his first actions as president, Donald Trump ignores all that in his eagerness to serve the oil industry. It's a dark day for reason, but we will continue the fight."

"Trump clearly doesn’t know what he’s doing," agreed 350.org executive director May Boeve. "Indigenous peoples, landowners, and climate activists did everything in our power to stop Keystone XL and Dakota Access, and we'll do it again. These orders will only reignite the widespread grassroots opposition to these pipelines and other dirty energy projects. Trump is about to meet the fossil fuel resistance head on."

"This is not a done deal," McKibben added. "People will mobilize again."

Progressive lawmakers and climate groups echoed that promise, issuing a chorus of statements condemning the president for "putting the profits of the fossil fuel industry ahead of the future of the planet."

Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe:

    President Trump is legally required to honor our treaty rights and provide a fair and reasonable pipeline process. Americans know this pipeline was unfairly rerouted towards our nation and without our consent. The existing pipeline route risks infringing on our treaty rights, contaminating our water and the water of 17 million Americans downstream.

    By granting the easement, Trump is risking our treaty rights and water supply to benefit his wealthy contributors and friends at DAPL. We are not opposed to energy independence. We are opposed to reckless and politically motivated development projects, like DAPL, that ignore our treaty rights and risk our water. Creating a second Flint does not make America great again.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.):

    ...Today, President Trump ignored the voices of millions and put the short-term profits of the fossil fuel industry ahead of the future of our planet.

    At a time when the scientific community is virtually unanimous in telling us that climate change is real, it is caused by human activity and it is already causing devastating problems, we cannot afford to build new oil pipelines that lock us into burning fossil fuels for years to come. I will do everything I can to stop these pipelines and protect our planet for future generations.

Trip Van Noppen, president of Earthjustice, which is representing the Standing Rock Sioux:

    Four days after taking the oath of office, and three days after millions across the country and world marched in protest of his administration, President Trump appears to be ignoring the law, public sentiment, and ethical considerations with this executive order aimed at resurrecting the long-rejected Keystone XL pipeline and circumventing the ongoing environmental review process for the highly controversial Dakota Access pipeline.  

    This move is legally questionable, at best. And based on what we know about Trump's financial dealings in the Dakota Access pipeline, it raises serious ethical concerns. In the case of the Dakota Access pipeline, Trump's actions are an affront to the Tribe and its Treaty rights especially since once again the tribes were not consulted before this action was taken.  

    He should brace himself to contend with the laws he is flouting, and the millions of Americans who are opposed to these dangerous and destructive projects. We will see his administration in court.

Tom BK Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network:  

    ...Trump is portraying his true self by joining forces with the darkness of the Black Snake pipelines crossing across the culturally and environmentally rich landscape of the prairie lands of America.  

    These actions by President Trump are insane and extreme, and nothing short of attacks on our ancestral homelands as Indigenous peoples. The actions by the president today demonstrate that this Administration is more than willing to violate federal law that is meant to protect Indigenous rights, human rights, the environment and the overall safety of communities for the benefit of the fossil fuel industry.  

    These attacks will not be ignored, our resistance is stronger now than ever before and we are prepared to push back at any reckless decision made by this Administration. If Trump does not pull back from implementing these orders, it will only result in more massive mobilization and civil disobedience on a scale never seen of a newly seated President of the United States.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.):

    The American people decisively rejected both the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Keystone Pipeline. President Trump's executive orders are a giveaway to the fossil fuel industry at the expense of our planet and its inhabitants.    

    At every turn, President Trump has shown his allegiance is with billionaires and Big Oil, not working families. We must resist this dangerous agenda and fight for the future of our planet.

Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune:

    Donald Trump has been in office for four days and he's already proving to be the dangerous threat to our climate we feared he would be...

    Trump claims he's a good businessman, yet he's encouraging dirty, dangerous tar sands development when clean energy is growing faster, producing more jobs, and has a real future. Trump claims he cares about the American people, but he's allowing oil companies to steal and threaten their land by constructing dirty and dangerous pipelines through it. Trump claims he wants to protect people's clean air and water, but he's permitting a tar sand superhighway that will endanger both and hasten the climate crisis.

    ...Simply put, Donald Trump is who we thought he is: a person who will sell off Americans' property and Tribal rights, clean air, and safe water to corporate polluters.

Friends of the Earth president Erich Pica:

    Donald Trump has made it clear that his America does not include the millions of Americans who fought to protect our land, water, sacred cultural sites and climate from dangerous pipelines. Trump has emphatically pledged his allegiance to the oil companies and Wall Street banks that stand to profit from the destruction of public health and the environment. 

    The movement to defend Indigenous rights and keep fossil fuels in the ground is stronger than oil companies' bottom line. Friends of the Earth and our allies will not give up the fight to stop Trump's agenda and these destructive pipelines.

Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch:

    At a time when our country must be turning decisively away from polluting fossil fuels, Trump seeks to double-down on them, for the sake of enriching his billionaire friends and cabinet nominees who are deeply entrenched in the industry. The grassroots resistance to Trump's agenda is already mobilizing from coast to coast, and our elected officials should take notice. 

    Trump's war on the environment, the climate, and clean water protections is a war on all of us.

Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity:

    Donald Trump is wasting no time in digging up two of the worst oil industry projects in the past decade and trying to rush them out the door. If it wasn’t clear before that Trump is acting at the behest of the oil industry, it certainly is now.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee:

    Big oil and billionaires are running the White House. By pushing the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, Trump is siding with corporations and Wall Street over working families, ranchers, and indigenous communities. This is a disaster for ordinary Americans and a disaster for the environment.

Anna Galland, executive director of MoveOn.org Civic Action:

    This move by the President is dangerous, reckless and heartless.

    When the Army Corps of Engineers rejected a proposal from Energy Transfer Partners to drill under the Missouri River to build the Dakota Access pipeline, they did it because it would trample Tribal Rights, jeopardize critical water systems, and threaten the wellbeing of thousands of people across multiple states. The Keystone XL pipeline is just as problematic; its construction would seize land from local farmers, risk farming in the Great Plains, undermine clean air and safe water, and contribute to catastrophic climate change.

    MoveOn members were proud to stand with the Standing Rock Sioux as well as people across Nebraska who have fought hard to oppose these dangerous and unnecessary pipelines that threatened their land and livelihoods. We are ready to stand with them again and expect the same of Democrats in Washington. This fight is just beginning.

Jamil Dakwar, director of the ACLU’s Human Rights Program:

    Trump's decision to give the go-ahead for the Dakota Access Pipeline is a slap in the face to Native Americans and a blatant disregard for the rights to their land. By law, they are entitled to water rights and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, not sacrificed for political expediency and profit making. The Trump administration should allow careful environmental impact analysis to be completed with full and meaningful participation of affected tribes.

CREDO Action deputy political director Josh Nelson also noted that "fierce grassroots activism has stopped these pipelines over and over again," while David Turnbull, campaigns director at Oil Change International declared the pipelines "will never be completed."

"Both the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines will never be completed, no matter what President Trump and his oil-soaked cabinet try to do," Turnbull said. "Trump's first days in office saw massive opposition, marking the beginning of four years of resistance to his dangerous policies. We stopped Keystone XL and Dakota Access before and we'll do it again. These are fights Trump and his bullies won't win."

As Greenpeace executive director Annie Leonard said, "A powerful alliance of Indigenous communities, ranchers, farmers, and climate activists stopped the Keystone and the Dakota Access pipelines the first time around, and the same alliances will come together to stop them again if Trump tries to raise them from the dead."

"We all saw the incredible strength and courage of the water protectors at Standing Rock," Leonard said, "and the people around the world who stood with them in solidarity. We’ll stand with them again if Trump tries to bring the Dakota Access Pipeline, or any other fossil fuel infrastructure project, back to life."

"Instead of pushing bogus claims about the potential of pipelines to create jobs," she continued, "Trump should focus his efforts on the clean energy sector where America's future lives...Renewable energy is not only the future, but the only just economy for today. Keystone, the Dakota Access Pipeline, and fossil fuel infrastructure projects like them will only make billionaires richer and make the rest of us suffer."

Leonard concluded with the promise, "We will resist this with all of our power and we will continue to build the future the world wants to see."

As the news quickly spread, many took to Twitter to share their vows of resistance.

    These pipelines are happening. DAPL is happening -- unless you help us stop it.

    This is no time to remain calm.

    — Kelly Hayes (@MsKellyMHayes) January 24, 2017

    Keystone XL is an even bigger scam than Trump University. Barely creates jobs and trashes the environment. Sad! #NoKXL #NoDAPL

    — Jamie Henn (@Agent350) January 24, 2017

    This fight isn't over. Access to clean water is a human right #NoDAPL https://t.co/KDUm9byxak

    — Christine (@tine9625) January 24, 2017

    Week One of Fuck You America: Trump shuts down public WH switchboard, muzzles EPA, gag orders USDA, advances Keystone and Dakota pipelines

    — Mark Morford (@markmorford) January 24, 2017

    The executive orders are coming, which means the fight keeps going. #NoDAPL

    — Sara M. Hefny (@saramhefny) January 24, 2017

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