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Dakota Access Gets Reprieve, Can Pump for Another Week

Energy Transfer Partners showed no signs of obeying a federal judge’s order to shut down and drain their illegally permitted Dakota Access pipeline within 30 days. Their dilly-dallying has paid off: the District of Columbia Court of Appeals says ETP can keep pumping its black snake venom across eastern South Dakota, at least until Thursday, July 23:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an administrative stay that will be in effect at least through next Thursday while the pipeline’s operator, Energy Transfer LP, and its opponents file briefs. The company is appealing the lower court’s shutdown order and asking it be blocked pending the final outcome of its appeal.

The company has been fighting over the project for years with environmentalists and Native American tribes, under whose land a small portion of the $3.8 billion, 1,172-mile North Dakota-to-Illinois pipeline runs.

“The purpose of this administrative stay is to give the court sufficient opportunity to consider the emergency motion for stay and should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits of that motion,” the court said in the order [Vanessa Romo and Scott Neuman, “Court Halts Dakota Access Pipeline Shutdown as Legal Fight Goes Forward,” NPR, 2020.07.15].

Dang it! I guess to put Dakota Access out of our misery once and for all, we’re going to have to go vote for Joe Biden and those millions of new green jobs we’ll get to move toward net-zero emissions by 2050.

Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to ride my bike back to work….


  1. Debbo 2020-07-15

    I wonder if the recent SCOTUS ruling in Oklahoma will play a role in this appeal?

  2. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-07-16

    The tribes have argued that the government violated their treaty rights in the review processes of both Dakota Access and Keystone XL. If the pipeline opponents can find treaty language that has escaped Congressional revocation as the Oklahoma tribes got Justice Gorsuch to acknowledge, then yes, last week’s Oklahoma ruling could strengthen the tribes’ ability to win the case.

    However, it seems Judge Boasberg’s ruling on the Dakota Access permit process tossed the permit on other environmental law grounds without addressing the treaty rights raised by the plaintiffs, so I don’t know if the appeal will hinge on treaty rights.

  3. Debbo 2020-07-16

    The Roger Cornelius Memorial Cartoon by Marty Two Bulls:

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