Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry resigned from the company building the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) as he prepares for his role in the incoming Trump administration.
The Texas Republican stepped down from the Energy Transfer Partners’ (ETP) board, according to filings Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Activists believe Perry’s role with the company behind the so-called DAPL could present a conflict of interest after President-elect Donald Trump nominated him to lead the Department of Energy.
Perry, who ran for president in 2012 and 2016, has served as a director of ETP since he stepped down as governor in 2015 and owns $100,000 worth of stock in the company, according to a SEC form filed in January.
He also serves on the board of Sunoco Logistics Partners LP, which announced in December that it was purchasing ETP for a hefty $21 billion. He has not yet stepped down from Sunoco.
“Mr. Perry’s decision to resign from the board of ETP LLC was not due to any disagreement with the Partnership, the General Partner or ETP LLC relating to the operations, practices or policies of the Partnership,” the filing said.
ETP CEO Kelcy Warren donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to both Trump and Perry.
Trump sank between $500,000 and $1 million in the besieged company, according to financial disclosure forms Trump filed in 2015. The former reality TV star — now president elect — announced in November that he divested or placed in blind trusts his assets associated with ETP.
Warren, in return, shoveled more than $100,000 to elect Trump. Warren, who owns both Sunoco and ETP, also dumped another $66,000 into the Republican National Committee.
American Indian tribes and environmentalists believe DAPL’s construction would trample on tribal lands and potentially poison the Missouri River and Lake Oahe, a source of water for the Standing Rock Sioux.
The nearly 1,200-mile long pipeline route crossing underneath the Missouri River was rejected by the Army Corps of Engineers on Dec. 4, but could just as easily be re-affirmed by the billionaire president elect.
Many of the same groups that opposed the Keystone XL pipeline have joined the fight against the DAPL, which would bring 470,000 barrels of Bakken crude oil per day from western North Dakota to southern Illinois.