Dakota Access company takes its battle to finish oil pipeline to court

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Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the Dakota Access pipeline, has responded to the Army Corps of Engineers’ denial of a key permit by asking a federal judge to allow it to drill under the Missouri river immediately.

The court filing came as thousands of activists remained at the Standing Rock encampments, despite being buffeted by a blizzard and a plea from a tribal council leader for them to return home.

The corps announced Sunday that it would not grant a permit – known as an easement 1 – to the company, but would instead conduct an environmental impact statement and explore alternate routes for the 1,172-mile pipeline, which is slated to carry crude oil from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to a refinery in Illinois.

In documents filed in a US district court in Washington DC on Monday, lawyers for Energy Transfer Partners argued that the denial of permission by the US army corps of engineers represented a “transparent capitulation to political pressure”, which they implored the court to overrule and grant them permission to complete the pipeline.

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Editor Notes

1. An easement is actually not a permit. It is simply “a right to cross or otherwise use someone else’s land for a specified purpose”.