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


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”.