Among a record-breaking amount of corporate donations disclosed by the Trump administration on Tuesday, the head of the company behind the controversial Dakota Access pipeline was seen to have contributed US$250,000 to the president's inauguration.
As part of federal legal obligations, the Inauguration Committee handed over its records to the Federal Election Commission revealing a record US$106 million-plus for the Jan. 20 inauguration, which was met by protests in the nation's capital. As part of the more than 500-page document listing donors, a few in particular stand out.
Kelcy Warren, chairman and CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the Dakota Access pipeline, forked out US$250,000 for the inauguration. Following the inauguration, as part of a number of executive orders, Trump swiftly resurrected the both the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines.
Warren has a net worth of US$3.8 billion, according to Forbes, and on a number of occasions before the election had contributed to Republican party and the Trump campaign. After Trump secured the Republican nomination for president, Warren gave US$66,800 to the Republican National Committee.
Trump’s signature overturned a decision by the outgoing Obama administration to put the 1,172-mile project on hold after ongoing protests from environmentalists and Native American tribes concerned about the impact it would have on the local environment and nearby sacred lands. The resurrection of the pipelines can be seen as Trump’s heavy backing of dirty, fossil fuel industries that fuel climate change.
Other mining and energy corporations such as Murray Energy and Chevron are set to benefit from Trump’s rolling back of environmental regulations such as the Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon emissions. Combined, the three companies contributed more than US$1 million for the inauguration.
Right-wing casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson was the biggest contributor to the inauguration with US$5 million. Twenty-six organizations gave the Inauguration Committee more than US$1 million, including Bank of America, Boeing, Dow Chemical and AT&T and owners from a number of NFL teams.
JP Morgan Chase, American Financial Group and health insurance companies MetLife and Anthem also contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars.