Tim Kaine: Looking at Alternative Routes for Dakota Access Pipeline Is “Right Thing to Do”

Hillary Clinton has been pretty quiet about the controversial project. Here’s what her running mate has to say.


This story was originally published by Fusion and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

During an exclusive interview with Fusion‘s Alicia Menendez on Saturday, vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine voiced hesitant support for President Barack Obama’s view that there might be a way for the Dakota Access Pipeline—which has been the subject of mass protests from Native Americans who claim their water supply would be endangered and who have been met with a militarized police response—to be rerouted, though he stopped short of calling for the project to be canceled, as Sen. Bernie Sanders has done. The Clinton campaign has been criticized for its relative silence on the issue.

“Certainly the questions raised about the route are important,” Kaine said in response to Menendez’s question as to whether he agreed with Sanders. “I’m optimistic about [finding a different route].”

“So you’d be in support of rerouting it?” Menendez asked. “Well, look, they’ve already rerouted it once,” Kaine said, referring to a scrapped route that would have run just north of Bismarck, North Dakota’s capital. It was canceled because of concerns it could taint the city’s water supply.

“If it’s an important enough project, you ought to be able to find a route that works. What the Obama administration has done by saying, let’s look at route alternatives, I think is the right thing to do.”

Last month, the Department of Justice and the Army Corps of Engineers issued a statement saying work on a publicly owned part of the pipeline near Lake Oahe would be halted until they could reevaluate whether the work damages Native American cultural sites. They urged the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, to do the same on privately owned sections of the pipeline. The company has not halted work and expects the pipeline to be completed and operational by the end of the year.

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.