Gov. Doug Burgum released a video message on his first day in office, largely focusing on his stance on addressing the Dakota Access Pipeline situation while calling for federal resources and for a federal permit for a final river crossing to be issued.
Burgum’s message was nearly four minutes in length and was filmed from Memorial Hall on the first floor of the state Capitol tower. It was posted on his Facebook campaign page Thursday afternoon.
“For months, the Obama administration has politically stalled a legally permitted project that had already been through an exhaustive review process and has twice been upheld by the federal courts,” Burgum said. “As a result of the Obama administration’s refusal to uphold the rule of law on federally owned land, both our citizens and local and state law enforcement have been put in harm’s way.”
Burgum said it’s inexcusable to have North Dakota taxpayers foot a bill of $17 million in law enforcement costs needed to counter ongoing protest activities.
An easement to allow drilling of the pipeline under the Missouri River will not be issued pending an environmental impact statement, according to the U.S. Army.
“Failure to finish it would send a chilling signal to those in any industry who wish to invest in our state and play by the rules,” said Burgum, who called for Barack Obama’s administration to reverse course and issue the easement along with providing federal law enforcement resources.
“If the current administration will not act, then I will ask the Trump administration to do the same thing,” Burgum said.
He also pledged to meet with tribal leaders statewide in his first month in office.
Burgum’s video can be found at www.facebook.com/governordougburgum.