Official says feds won’t shut down Dakota Access pipeline: report
An official with the Army Corps of Engineers reportedly told critics that the agency won’t be shutting down the Dakota Access pipeline.
Dallas Goldtooth, an official with the Indigenous Environmental Network, told Bloomberg that Corps official Stacey Jensen said this to people who opposed the pipeline during a call on Thursday.
The report comes as Biden administration lawyers are expected to detail their position during a court hearing on Friday.
The hearing comes after an appeals court upheld a lower court decision that an easement that permitted the pipeline’s construction did not undergo a sufficient environmental review.
The appeals court reversed the lower court’s decision that the pipeline should be shut down and said “it may well be” that the Corps should require “the pipeline to cease operation.”
Jensen, the assistant for regulatory and tribal affairs in the Corps office of assistant secretary of the Army for civil works, told Bloomberg that the issue is up to the Justice Department.
“All I said is the facts of the case will be laid out today,” Jensen said. “I have no details on what facts will be discussed.”
The Corps did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment. A Justice Department spokesperson declined to comment.
The pipeline’s opponents expressed disappointment at the reported news.
“We are gravely concerned about the continued operation of this pipeline, which poses an unacceptable risk to our sovereign nation,” Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Mike Faith 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, this reported update from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shows it has chosen to ignore our pleas and stick to the wrong path,” Faith said.