Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders wave to supporters during a campaign event in Miami at the James L. Knight Center on Tuesday, March 8, 2016. (Pedro Portal/El Nuevo Herald/TNS via Getty Images)
Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard spoke out early and often against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Bernie Sanders gave a series of high profile speeches which highlighted the environmental problems the pipeline could cause and the insult to Native American sovereignty it represents. Tulsi Gabbard helped organize a veterans march on the pipeline which saw thousands of protesters show up in solidarity with those at Standing Rock.
These actions provided some much needed publicity and national support for a movement which lacked widespread mainstream support. Although the pressure mounted and along with popular opposition proved to be enough to postpone the pipeline, it is pretty clear Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the pipeline, is interested in fighting that decision. On top of that the Obama administration’s solution could be undone quickly by a Trump administration.
The Army Corps of engineers stalled the project for more environmental review, leaving some concerned the regulations holding the company to that review could be quick to go in a Trump administration. Which means people like Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard are more important than ever.
It seems pretty clear Sanders and Gabbard will continue to oppose the pipeline. Sanders environmental concerns are even more pressing in the face of an administration which once called climate change a “Chinese hoax.”
Gabbard’s concern for clean drinking water is just as valid as it was months ago. And it seems laughable to assume a Trump administration would be any more sensitive to Native American sovereignty than the Obama administration proved to be.
Standing up to Donald Trump is an obvious way to rally the Democratic Party and American left wing as a whole. Standing up to Donald Trump at Standing Rock is a no brainer.