Archive for Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Judge won’t stop oil from flowing through disputed Dakota Access pipeline

In this Feb. 13, 2017, aerial file photo shows the site where the final phase of the Dakota Access Pipeline will take place with boring equipment routing the pipeline underground and across Lake Oahe to connect with the existing pipeline in Emmons County near Cannon Ball, N.D. Sioux tribes suing to stop the Dakota Access pipeline want a federal judge to head off the imminent flow of oil. Judge James Boasberg on March 7, 2017, rejected the request of the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux to stop construction of the final segment of the pipeline that would move oil from North Dakota to Illinois. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP, File)

In this Feb. 13, 2017, aerial file photo shows the site where the final phase of the Dakota Access Pipeline will take place with boring equipment routing the pipeline underground and across Lake Oahe to connect with the existing pipeline in Emmons County near Cannon Ball, N.D. Sioux tribes suing to stop the Dakota Access pipeline want a federal judge to head off the imminent flow of oil. Judge James Boasberg on March 7, 2017, rejected the request of the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux to stop construction of the final segment of the pipeline that would move oil from North Dakota to Illinois. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP, File)

March 15, 2017

Advertisement

— A judge refused to head off the imminent flow of oil in the disputed Dakota Access pipeline, likely clearing the way for operations to begin next week.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg denied a request by the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes to stop oil from flowing while the tribes appeal his decision last week allowing pipeline construction to finish.

"The critical factor here is Cheyenne River's lack of likelihood of success on the merits ... plaintiff does not have a strong case on appeal," Boasberg said in his ruling Tuesday.

Cheyenne River attorney Nicole Ducheneaux did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Texas-based pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners is finishing up pipeline work beneath Lake Oahe, a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota and the last piece of construction on the 1,200-mile, $3.8 billion pipeline to move North Dakota oil to a distribution point in Illinois. The tribes maintain an oil pipeline under the lake they consider sacred violates their religious rights, but Boasberg says the argument was made too late and is of questionable merit.

The judge also said ETP would be "substantially harmed" by a delay, as it prepares to move oil through the pipeline as early as Monday.

Both ETP and the Army Corps of Engineers had objected to the tribes' latest attempt to halt the project, with Corps attorneys saying in court documents that President Donald Trump "has expressly determined that the pipeline is 'in the national interest.'"

The Corps last month granted ETP permission to lay pipe under the reservoir that it manages for the federal government, after Trump in January urged the project's completion after months of legal delays.

The court battle isn't over. Aside from the tribes' appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on the religion argument, the tribes in their lawsuit before Boasberg are arguing for more environmental study and for the government to recognize the tribes' treaty rights to clean water.

The Corps on Tuesday filed its opposition to those requests, saying the agency's permission for the Lake Oahe work "represents the culmination of over two years of detailed environmental analysis and extensive consultation with (the tribes)."

The pipeline saga also has endured for months outside of the courtroom, with about 750 arrests of protesters in southern North Dakota from August through February. Amnesty International USA on Wednesday said it has documented numerous instances of excessive force or intimidation by police and excessive criminal charges.

The organization in a letter asks Republican Gov. Doug Burgum and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem to drop or consider dropping charges against protesters, review police practices and open independent investigations into several specific cases.

Police have defended their practices, which have included water sprays, tear gas and non-lethal ammunition such as rubber bullets. Police have said some protesters were violent and took part in riots, and that some targeted police both professionally and personally.

Comments

Richard Heckler 8 months, 1 week ago

The Koch brothers should be ashamed of themselves for using this very toxic method of obtaining oil. It is greed driven simply because the need for this dirty oil is not that demanding. We don't need more oil we need cleaner energy.

Not only that this type of method known as fracking created tremors in the earth thus causing earthquakes such as the one that was felt in Lawrence,Kansas from a fracking project in Oklahoma.

The judge should also be ashamed of himself for living in denial about the long term environmental impacts to include the damage it can do to homes as a result of the fracking driven earthquakes.

Koch people have spent more than EXXON on misinformation budgets. Fracking should be considered a contributor to Climate Change.

Richard Heckler 8 months, 1 week ago

The Kochs Are Plotting A Multimillion-Dollar Assault On Electric Vehicles.

A new group could spend $10 million a year on the campaign.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/koch-electric-vehicles_us_56c4d63ce4b0b40245c8cbf6

Bob Smith 8 months, 1 week ago

Darned well time. Will the protesters find another piece of land to bury in trash?

Jeff Mitchell 8 months, 1 week ago

The Sioux who claim that land in fact came there from Minnesota; they stole the land from the Natives who lived there before them (who probably took it from other people). In this case, I agree with the old Delaware saying.."No one (including liberal native activists) owns the land":)

Bob Summers 8 months, 1 week ago

What are the tribal leaders going to do with the money oil is giving them for using their land?

Give it to the women and children like they do with casino winnings? Enrich the tribe as a whole?

heh

Brandon Devlin 8 months, 1 week ago

Why would they be giving the tribe money? They actually aren't using any tribal land. The crossing at Lake Oahe (really the Missouri River, but I digress) is a few miles north of the Standing Rock reservation. No part of the pipeline ever crosses into the reservation. (1851 Fort Laramie Treaty lands, but that's a completely different argument.)

Commenting has been disabled for this item.