Court Hearing Set for Friday on Effort to Halt Oil Pipeline in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — As work progresses on an oil pipeline crossing Iowa, opponents are holding protest rallies and taking the state utilities regulators to court in hopes of stopping construction.

A hearing is scheduled for Friday in Des Moines on a motion to stay construction on several parcels of land. It’s part of a lawsuit challenging the Iowa Utilities Board’s authority to give for-profit Texas oil company Dakota Access the right to condemn private farmland for the pipeline.

 Company attorney Bret Dublinske says the stay is another attempt to halt the project without a legal or factual basis.

The board, meeting Tuesday, learned 60 percent of the project right-of-way is cleared, 40 percent graded and trenches are dug on about 15 percent of the needed path.

 Outside the meeting two dozen opponents protested.

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