North Dakota Asks Pipeline Company to Explain Ranch Purchase

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem is asking the developer of the four-state Dakota Access oil pipeline to explain its purchase of a ranch where a protest turned violent earlier this month.

Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners recently purchased the 7,000-acre ranch last week for an undisclosed price.

Stenehjem is giving the company 30 days to say how the land, where tribal officials said construction crews destroyed burial and cultural sites, will be used.

North Dakota law generally bars corporations from owning agricultural land unless the property is controlled by a farm family. The company must prove to the state how its purchase complies with the Depression-era anti-corporate farming law.

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