May 24, 2022

Dakota Access pipeline still on hold after Supreme Court decision to uphold lower court’s decision

The Dakota Access oil pipeline is staring down another loss after the Supreme Court rejected their petition from an operator Tuesday to end the environmental review that has halted the project. 

According to The Daily Caller the high court’s decision upheld the federal district court’s July 2020 ruling, which ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to prepare a full environmental impact statement (EIS) on the pipeline.

The operator of the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL), Energy Transfer, was also obliged by the lower court ruling to shut down operations of the pipeline within 30 days, but that aspect of the ruling was overturned by an appeals court in August 2020.

While the pipeline, which transmits an estimated 570,000 barrels of crude oil per day from North Dakota to Illinois, is still working, Energy Transfer claims that the possibility of a broad EIS and possible shutdown has cast doubt on its future. In a September court filing, the corporation requested that the Supreme Court examine its case and dismiss the environmental review.

“DAPL’s ongoing operation thus remains uncertain, with a substantial risk of a shutdown,” the company wrote.

“This Court should intervene to eliminate this uncertainty and, by reversing the panel decision, restore Dakota Access’s easement in order to ensure its continued operation and avoid the economic and environmental fallout of a shutdown.”

The pipeline has been in the courts multiple times since January 2017 when President Donald Trump signed an executive order that expedited the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ review of the 1,172-mile underground pipeline.

The current administration moved to cancel the inquiry in April and decided to wait for a final environmental review, which allowed more time for the Environmental groups and Native American tribes’ legal challenges to move forward.

“We are gravely concerned about the continued operation of this pipeline, which poses an unacceptable risk to our sovereign nation,” Mike Faith, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, said in a statement. “In a meeting with members of Biden’s staff earlier this year, we were told that this new administration wanted to ‘get this right.'”

“Unfortunately, today’s update from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shows it has chosen to ignore our pleas and stick to the wrong path,” Faith added. (RELATED: U.S. Set To Again Become Net Importer Of Oil).

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