As Rick Perry awaits his confirmation hearing to become the Secretary of Energy, he has resigned from the board of the company that has been slated to build the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, the Texas Tribune reported Thursday. The connection to a project he will have power over as energy secretary created a rocky start for Perry, the former governor of Texas.
Perry left the board of Energy Transfer Partners on Dec. 31, the Texas Tribune reported, and is expected to be confirmed as energy secretary within the next two weeks.
Meanwhile, the Dakota Access Pipeline's stretch under Lake Oahe in North Dakota was postponed after the US Army Corps of Engineers decided a thorough environmental impact assessment needed to be completed. The decision to not grant a vital permit likely means the pipeline will have to be rerouted. The decision came after weeks of protesting by Native Americans and environmentalists who said the pipeline would be prone to oil spills that would contaminate local water supply.
But Republicans have promised to finish the pipeline under a Donald Trump administration, saying the pipeline meets state environmental regulations in the areas it crosses.
To make conflicts of interest even more obvious, Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren is a longtime donor to Perry's campaigns.
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