Energy & Environment

Supreme Court rebuffs Dakota Access appeal

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a push from the Dakota Access Pipeline to take up a lower court’s decision that vacated a permit for the vessel.

D.C. District Court Judge James Boasberg had struck down permits for the pipeline in 2020, saying that it needed a more rigorous environmental review, known as an Environmental Impacts Statement. 

The company behind the pipeline, Dakota Access LLC, asked the high court in September to review that decision. 

The company noted that tribes and environmental groups who have challenged it argue that without permits, the pipeline is currently operating unlawfully, and that this creates “a substantial risk of a shutdown.”

Dakota Access argued that the court should restore its permit to “ensure its continued operation and avoid the economic and environmental fallout of a shutdown.”

The Supreme Court did not explain its reasoning for denying the pipeline’s appeal. However, it noted that Justices Samuel Alito and Brett Kavanaugh didn’t participate in the consideration. 

When he struck down the pipeline’s permits, Boasberg initially also halted the pipeline’s operations while it underwent further environmental review.

A higher court reversed that decision, ultimately leaving it up to the Biden administration, which declined to shut down the vessel. The Biden administration’s actions left the pipeline in operation amid the additional review. 

Tags Brett Kavanaugh Dakota Access LLC Dakota Access Pipeline Environment Native American tribes Samuel Alito Supreme Court

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