Trump proceeds with Dakota pipeline construction

He has signed a new order to restart the construction of the pipeline

Trump proceeds with Dakota pipeline construction

President Donald Trump prepares to sign his first executive order, 20-01-2017. Image: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

President Trump has signed an order allowing construction to restart on an oil pipeline through Native American lands in Dakota.

The Dakota Access Pipeline, or DAPL, has sparked major protests near the Standing Rock Sioux Native American Indian reservation over fears that it will disturb the sacred burial ground. 

Former president Barack Obama blocked construction of a disputed segment of the pipeline back in December.

Mr Trump has now signed executive actions to advance the 1,200-mile DAPL and another pipeline, the Keystone XL. Mr Obama had previously rejected an application for the completion of the Keystone KL project in November 2015.

Hundreds of Native Americans and climate activists had been camped out for months on the banks of the Missouri River, about 25 miles south of Bismarck, North Dakota.

There were fears at the time that their celebrations would be short-lived because of the support Mr Trump showed on the campaign trail for fossil fuels.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Mr Trump said that his administration was going to "renegotiate some of the terms" of the Keystone XL project.

"And if they like, we will see if we can get that pipeline built - a lot of jobs, 28,000 jobs, great construction jobs."

He continued by saying that "We are very insistent that if we are going to build pipelines in the United States, the pipes should be built in the United States."

Mr Obama halted the proposed Keystone XL pipeline because he claimed it would prevent agreement on the Paris climate change deal that he regarded as a centrepiece of his environmental legacy.