ND & Tribal Leaders Respond to Shutdown of Dakota Access Pipeline

This ruling is the first major victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe since protests and legal battles began over the pipeline in 2016.

WASHINGTON – Oil flowing through the Dakota Access Pipeline may come to a standstill after a federal judge ordered the pipeline to shutdown by August 5th.

Oil cannot continue to flow until the Army Corps of Engineers completes an Environmental Impact Statement.

Federal Judge James Boasberg ruled the Army Corps of Engineers ‘did not adequately consider the impacts of an oil spill on fishing and hunting rights or environmental justice’ when issuing an easement that allowed construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline to begin in February 2017.

In an interview with KFGO, the President of the North Dakota Petroleum Council Ron Ness said “This is certainly, I think, shocking news, and it should be shocking news to North Dakota. This district court judge, I think there is going to be a lot of questions raised about his authority to make this type of a wide sweeping determination.”

North Dakota lawmakers are expecting Energy Transfer, the company that manages the 1,172-mile pipeline, to appeal the order as they say the judge did not consider the significant economic impact of the order.

“You’re going to see a lot of appeals, and a lot of requests for the shutdown not to happen, and I guess we all know that’s going to happen,” said Chairman Mike Faith of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in an interview with KFGO.

“The company will likely appeal, and I’m hopeful that the appellate court will allow the pipeline to continue to operate while the Army Corps of Engineers finishes the Environmental Impact Statement,” said North Dakota Senator John Hoeven.

The pipeline moves 570,000 barrels of Bakken crude oil through North Dakota to Illinois a day.

So far it has no reported spills or leaks.

“I mean 60-75% of our state budget comes from oil revenue. It’s completely devastating to our economy,” said Representative Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota.

“We have to make sure that we have an economy works for everybody. It really doesn’t make sense to have profitable gains right now that profit only a few and not really looking at what are the direct health implications for communities that live in close proximity of the Dakota Access Pipeline,” said State Representative Ruth Buffalo of Fargo.

This ruling is the first major victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe since protests and legal battles began over the pipeline in 2016.

“It truly is a good day for Standing Rock and all the people that supported us here,” said Chairman Faith.

The case is expected to be in front of an appeals court next where it will be determined if Boasberg’s order will stand.

Categories: Business, Local News, North Dakota News, Politics / Elections