SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — President Trump says this is a “great day for American jobs,” claiming the project could create up 13,000 construction jobs alone. But for some local activists, like Robin Gage, it’s personal.
In December, Gage, who has Native American roots, led more than 230 Northern California veterans to Standing Rock. There, they joined thousands of other veterans from around the country to protest the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.
They faced freezing cold and political persecution to challenge the status quo. They are ready once again to do more of the same, even if it means going to court.
“One of the legal remedies is going to be to stop the oil from going through the pipeline,” explained Gage.
The $8 billion pipeline will push Canadian crude oil to U.S. refineries along the Gulf Coast. President Trump says the project advances U.S. national interests and create jobs.
“This announcement is part of a new era of American energy policy that will lower costs for American families and very significantly reduce our dependence on foreign oil and create thousands of jobs right here in America,” said Trump from the Oval office on Friday morning.
Gage acknowledges it will create jobs, but she’s worried more Americans aren’t concerned about the environmental impact – from global warming to oil spills. She says the Trump administration is putting profit over public safety.
“It’s a shame that people do not care that he’s measuring success by how much money they make, and the materialistic thing they make, and not about our environment,” said Gage.
Raul Camatcho was also part of group that went out to Standing Rock last December. He’s surprised the project was green-lighted so soon into new administration. But he thinks it’s just a way for President Trump to boast about job creation.
“He’ll say, ‘I have improved the economy in that area,’ but he hasn’t really look outside of the box at the ramifications if that pipeline does rupture,” said Camatcho.
Social media has been buzzing with activists planning what to do next. If anything, Gage hopes these companies will now be more mindful of their operations knowing that they are being watched.