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article imageDakota Access Pipeline protests grow as companies look to courts

By Karen Graham     Nov 15, 2016 in Environment
The companies behind the Dakota Access pipeline filed papers on Monday night in U.S. District Court, asking the court to intervene in the fight over the pipeline's completion.
But on Tuesday, Reuters reported that protesters across North America took to the streets in what is being called "a day of action" in some of the largest demonstrations seen to date, protesting the pipeline over fears it would contaminate water supplies and destroy Native American burial sites.
Protesters gathered outside the offices of the Army Corps of Engineers, banks and energy companies on Tuesday, one day after the Obama administration refused to grant a final easement for the disputed section of the the Dakota Access pipeline.
Pipeline protests on Twitter
Energy Transfer Partners, the main company behind the pipeline, and its subsidiary, Sunoco Logistics Partners, filed papers Monday night in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. asking for the court to grant declaratory relief to "end the Administration's political interference in the Dakota Access Pipeline review process."
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of the Interior also put the fight over the pipeline on hold, deciding on Monday that further consultation is "warranted in light of the history of the Great Sioux Nation's dispossessions of lands, the importance of Lake Oahe to the Tribe, our government-to-government relationship, and the statute governing easements through government property."
Pipeline protests on Twitter
The 1,172-mile (1,885 kilometers) long pipeline would move a half-million barrels of crude oil per day from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota to Illinois. And while the Army Corps of Engineers had already given approval for the project, and most all of it is completed, work under Lake Oahe, which sits beside the Standing Rock reservation has yet to be approved, according to the BBC.
This is the area of the project that is being protested. And while a decision on this part of the project was expected in the fall, on Sept. 9, the Obama administration called for an internal review of its environmental assessment. Monday's decision was the result of that internal review.
Pipeline protests on Twitter
Energy Transfer Partners was not pleased with the Obama administration's decision, with Chief Executive Kelcy Warren telling Reuters, "This action is motivated purely by politics at the expense of a company that has done nothing but play by the rules it was given."
Donald Trump happens to be an investor in Energy Transfer Partners, the parent company of Dakota Access LLC, and is expected to approve the project when he takes office as the president of the United States, notes Inside Climate News.
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