The United States Supreme Court has denied a plea by the Dakota Access oil pipeline operator to stop the project’s continuing environmental study. President Barack Obama’s appointment of D.C. District Court Judge James Boasberg resulted in the pipeline’s permits being revoked in 2020, citing the necessity for a more strict environmental evaluation, known as an Environmental Impact Statement.
“Dakota Access, which is owned by Texas-based Energy Transfer,” ABC News wrote, “appealed a lower court order that affirmed the necessity for a more complete environmental review by the US Army Corps of Engineers.” In January 2017, then-President Donald Trump issued an executive order accelerating the evaluation of the DAPL by the US Army Corps of Engineers. In June 2017, the 1,172-mile subterranean pipeline became live.
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The Biden administration decided not to cancel the DAPL in April, instead of waiting for the final environmental study.
“The Corps granted an easement for the pipeline’s Missouri River crossing in 2017, but a federal court ruled in 2020 that the line’s earlier environmental research was inadequate and canceled the permit.”
“Whether the Corps reissues the permit will be determined by the conclusion of the current environmental evaluation, which the agency initiated in September 2020,” the outlet noted.
“The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is concerned that the pipeline could break and that an oil spill could ruin its water supply. The line passes under the Missouri River upstream from its reservation.
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The tribe first sued over the pipeline five years ago. The pipeline has operated since 2017 and was the target of large protests in south-central North Dakota during construction,” the outlet reported.
“We are gravely concerned about the continued operation of this pipeline, which poses an unacceptable risk to our sovereign nation,” Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Mike Faith stated 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,” The Chairman added.
Trump issued an executive order in 2017 named, “Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals for High-Priority Infrastructure Projects.”
Trump subsequently signed legislation mandating that the pipes be built with American steel, “like we used to in the old days,” plus two others, one of which he claims will simplify, “the incredibly cumbersome, long, horrible permitting process and reducing regulatory burdens for domestic manufacturing,” yet another that he claims would speed up environmental inspections and permits. “for high-priority infrastructure projects.”
“We can’t be in an environmental process for 15 years if a bridge is going to be falling down or if a highway is crumbling,” Trump said.