U.S. Court Lifts Injunction on Dakota Access Construction
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals got a head start on Indigenous Peoples’ Day (aka Columbus Day) late Sunday by lifting an injunction that had blocked construction on a disputed section of the Dakota Access Pipeline near Lake Oahe, on the Missouri River.
The court “gave a clear nod to the validity of the Standing Rock Sioux’s claim to have not been adequately consulted in its two-page order in the case, noting that ‘ours is not the final word’ on the ongoing legal dispute,” Politico Morning Energy reports. But a panel of three judges still concluded the community had not met the “narrow and stringent standard governing this extraordinary form of relief.”
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Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chair David Archambault II urged pipeline developers Energy Transfer Partners to respect the U.S. government’s call for a voluntary pause on construction. “The federal government recognizes what is at stake and has asked [the company] to halt construction,” he said. “We hope they will comply with that request.”
The U.S. Army and Departments of Interior and Justice reinforced that call in a joint statement Monday, asking ETP to “voluntarily halt construction within 20 miles of a contested section of the proposed route,” Reuters reports.
Craig Stevens, spokesperson for the Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now, said he was “pleased, but not surprised” by the ruling. “We continue to believe that as long as the ultimate administrative and judicial decisions are based on the facts, science, engineering, and the rule of law, the Dakota Access Pipeline will become operational without additional delay,” he said in a statement.
Late last month, Yes! Magazine published contact information for the 17 banks that are funding the Dakota Access project.