Energy & Environment

Tribe will continue fight against ND pipeline project

Erik Molvar

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe says it will continue its legal fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline despite an order allowing some construction on the project to move forward. 

“The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is not backing down from this fight,” Dave Archambault, the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, said in a statement Sunday night. The tribe has sued over the 1,170-mile, $3.8 billion pipeline, arguing it threatens cultural sites in North Dakota. 

{mosads}“We are guided by prayer, and we will continue to fight for our people. We will not rest until our lands, people, waters and sacred places are permanently protected from this destructive pipeline.” 

The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Sunday night rejected a Standing Rock Sioux request for an injunction against construction along a stretch of the pipeline’s route. It also overturned an administrative hold on construction while the tribe’s injunction request moved forward.

The unanimous two-page ruling did not delve into the merits of the tribe’s underlying legal case against the pipeline, which is still moving forward. But the three-judge panel said the tribe’s arguments didn’t meet the conditions necessary for issuing an injunction.

Sunday’s ruling decision was a victory for Dakota Access, with the developers telling the court last week they would move forward with early construction work on the pipeline if the court ruled in their favor. 

The decision is not the final word on the pipeline project, which has spurred protests in North Dakota and nationally. Federal officials have not issued a final easement necessary for construction work near North Dakota’s Lake Oahe, the focal point of the dispute. 

“We continue to believe that as long as the ultimate administrative and judicial decisions are based on the facts, science, engineering, and the rule of law the Dakota Access Pipeline will become operational without additional delay,” said Craig Stevens, a spokesman for the Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now Coalition, which supports the project.   

Tags Dakota Access Pipeline Dave Archambault Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now Coalition North Dakota pipeline Standing Rock Sioux tribe

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