North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, who took office last month in the height of tensions surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline, said he believed the line would eventually be built and asked opponents to clean their protest camp before spring floodwaters create a potential ecological disaster.
A centrist Republican with no prior political experience, Burgum was elected in a landslide on a platform of streamlining government and improving relations across the state. Burgum built a successful software business before selling it to Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) in 2001.
Burgum told Reuters that approval of the pipeline appeared to be a foregone conclusion once Donald Trump moved into the White House.
“I expect the world’s going to change dramatically on that day relative to finding resolution on this issue,” Burgum said in an interview. “I would expect that (Energy Transfer Partners (ETP.N)) will get its easement and it will go through.”