Judge orders shutdown and emptying of controversial Dakota Access Pipeline until impact report ready

‘This pipeline should have never been built here’

Graig Graziosi
Monday 06 July 2020 23:21
Comments
What is the Dakota Access Pipeline?

A district court ruled that the Dakota Access Pipeline must be shut down by 5 August to allow for an extensive environmental review.

The US District Court for the District of Columbia ruled it would vacate an easement that the US Army Corps of Engineers granted to Dakota Access for the construction of a pipeline beneath Lake Oahe in North and South Dakota.

This is the court’s second ruling against the Army Corps of Engineers regarding the project. Previously, the court ruled that the organisation was in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act by granting the easement without producing an Environmental Impact Statement.

The Dakota Access Pipeline project prompted extensive protests from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as well as environmental activists, who feared the pipeline project would pose a major ecological risk to the region it passed through.

The ruling is a major victory for the groups that opposed the pipeline, and a notable setback for President Donald Trump, who attempted to expedite the project by using his executive leverage to cut through environmental red tape.

Mike Faith, the Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, issued a statement celebrating the ruling.

“Today is a historic day for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the many people who have supported us in the fight against the pipeline,” Mr Faith said. “This pipeline should have never been built here. We told them that from the beginning.”

The Standing Rock Sioux sued the Army Corps of Engineers in 2016, claiming they were never consulted regarding the pipeline and that the US government was in violation of the National Historic Preservation Act.

Energy Transfer Partners, the company that owns the pipeline, said it intends to challenge the decision in court.

“We believe that the ruling issued this morning from Judge Boasberg is not supported by the law or the facts of the case. We will be immediately pursuing all available legal and administrative processes and are confident that once the law and full record are fully considered Dakota Access Pipeline will not be shut down and that oil will continue to flow,” a statement from the company said.

The company has close ties to Mr Trump. The CEO of the company, Kelcy Warren, held a fundraiser for the president last month, and former energy secretary Rick Perry rejoined the company’s board shortly after leaving the Cabinet.

The Trump administration was similarly displeased with the court’s ruling.

US Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette issued a statement suggesting the US government and Energy Transfer Partners — which made $3.6bn in profit in 2019 — are the underdogs in the fight against bullying environmental activists and Native Americans.

“It’s disappointing that, once again, an energy infrastructure project that provides thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in economic revenue has been shut down by the well-funded environmental lobby, using our Nation’s court system to further their agenda,” Mr Brouillette said.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in