October 2017, Vol. 244, No. 10

In The News

Tribes Argue Dakota Access Created Own Problems

Tribes Argue Dakota Access Created Own Problems

Native American tribes maintained in last-minute court filings that the Dakota Access oil pipeline developer has overstated the potential adverse effects of a shutdown. Standing Rock Sioux attorney Jan Hasselman also argued that Energy Transfer Partners brought on its own problems by pushing ahead with construction prior to gaining final federal approval.

ETP “made reckless choices, and it must accept the consequences,” Hasselman wrote in a court filing before U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington, D.C.

The $3.8 billion pipeline began moving North Dakota oil through South Dakota and Iowa to Illinois on June 1 after President Trump pushed for its completion. The Army Corps of Engineers, which permitted the project, had decided to do more environmental study, but dropped that plan after Trump took office.

The judge ruled in June that the Corps didn’t adequately consider how an oil spill under Lake Oahe in the Dakotas might affect the Standing Rock Sioux and ordered the Corps to reconsider certain areas of its environmental analysis. ETP has maintained in court documents that a shutdown would cost it $90 million monthly and significantly disrupt the broader energy industry as well as state and local government tax revenue.


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