During Sean Spicer's bizarre—and oftentimes contentious—press conference on Monday, the newly appointed White House Press Secretary gave a statement about the Dakota Access pipeline that was sure to distress its opponents.
"I will tell you that areas like Dakota and the Keystone Pipeline, areas that we can increase jobs, increase economic growth, and tap into America's energy supply more, that's something that he has been very clear about," Spicer said in response to a question from Fox News' John Roberts about the potential use of executive actions to jumpstart the pipelines' stalled construction. "I think he talked about it, not only on the campaign, but around the Thanksgiving period. He was talking about that being a big priority."
'That's one of those ones where I think that the energy sector and our natural resources are an area where I think the president is very, very keen on making sure that we maximize our use of natural resources to America's benefit," Spicer continued. "It's good for economic growth, it's good for jobs, and it's good for American energy."
He declined to give a timeline when that might actually take place, explaining simply that he would not "get in front of the president's executive actions."
Trump has reportedly long thought that restarting the DAPL's construction should be allowed, particularly since early December, when the Army Corps of Engineers refused to grant an easement necessary for the project to proceed.
At the time, North Dakota Senator John Hoeven (R) explained in a statement that he had met with the then-President-elect, and that "Mr. Trump expressed his support for the Dakota Access Pipeline, which has met or exceeded all environmental standards set forth by four states and the Army Corps of Engineers."
Trump had previously also voiced support for the Keystone XL pipeline, calling it the way to "make our country rich again." (President Obama canceled the Keystone project in November 2015.)
Trump's enthusiasm for DAPL was initially scrutinized after it become known that he held stock in Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the project's construction, which he reportedly sold over this past summer. Energy Transfer CEO Kelsey Warren was also a sizable donor to the Trump campaign, and told NBC News that "I’m 100 percent sure that the pipeline will be approved by a Trump administration."
Trump's team addressed the potential conflict of interest, dismissing it as "nothing to do with his personal investments and everything to do with promoting policies that benefit all Americans."