Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Federal judge denies Dakota Access Pipeline restraining order; oil set to flow within 30 days

Bismarck Tribune photo by Tom Stromme
A federal district court judge on Monday "denied a temporary restraining order sought to stop drilling of the Dakota Access Pipeline across the Missouri River/Lake Oahe," Lauren Donovan reports for The Bismarck Tribune. "The restraining order was sought by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe on grounds that the pipeline would interfere with its indigenous freedom to practice religion in pure, clean water."

After an hour-long hearing, U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg reasoned that "there would not be any risk of immediate harm until oil starts flowing," Steven Mufson and Spencer S. Hsu report for The Washington Post.

But Boasenberg did order the pipeline company "to provide weekly updates about when it expected oil to begin flowing, leaving open the possibility of further court intervention. He set a date of Feb. 27 for a hearing on whether to issue a preliminary injunction at that time."

The $3.8 billion, 1,150-mile pipeline is expected to carry as much as 570,000 barrels of Bakken Formation crude from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to Illinois. David Debold, an attorney for Dakota Access, "said that oil could start flowing in 30 days or even earlier, a much faster schedule than other company representatives have given," reports the Post.

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