How Successful Have Lobbyists Been at Influencing State and National Policy to Further the Completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline, Since the 2008 US Election?
Authors: Piper, B. and McQueen, D.
Editors: Denegri-Knott, J.
Journal: Journal of Promotional Communication
Publisher: Bournemouth University
This study sets out to investigate a contemporary example of lobbying, by enquiring as to whether lobbyists have successfully influenced state and national policy which furthered the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline since 2008. This involves an analysis of campaign contributions made to key federal candidates by organisations related to the pipeline. The results of this analysis, suggests that lobbyists have been highly successful in influencing policy which led to the completion of the pipeline. The data collected in this study, highlights lobbyists use of "natural allies" with "proximate objectives" (Hall and Deardoff 2006, p.69), creating a network of allies, to enable the completion of the pipeline. The study raises concerns over the nature of President Trump's relationship with the 'Energy Transfer Partners' CEO, Kelcy Warren. Campaign funding and apparent conflicts of interest at state and national level and their impact on the democratic process are explored, including whether President Trump's personal investments may have played a significant role in influencing his policy decisions concerning the pipeline. This study helps provide an insight into modern lobbying, revealing the power and influence money, through campaign finance, has in the democratic system.