The company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline filed a lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers yesterday (November 15) after the Department of Army decided Monday night (November 14) to temporarily halt the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline near Lake Oahe until further review. Energy Transfer Partners is pushing back by saying that the Dakota Access, the subsidiary heading the pipeline construction, “has the legal right-of-way,” according to court documents.
The Army made the decision after it, along with the Departments of Justice and Interior, declared on September 9 the Corps was going to “determine whether it will need to reconsider any of its previous decisions regarding the Lake Oahe site under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) or other federal laws.” Energy Transfer Partners references this event in its litigation.
The Standing Rock Sioux responded to this new lawsuit through an email statement, where the Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II said:
“Dakota Access is so desperate to get this project in the ground that it is now suing the federal government on the novel theory that it doesn’t need an easement to cross federal lands. They are wrong and the lawsuit will not succeed. We are looking forward to discussing the easement with the Administration and explaining why it must be denied.”
Archambault notes in the statement that the company previously informed the Corps that if it weren’t delivering oil by January 17, 2017, their shipper contracts would expire. This can become trickier for the company with governmental support for the Standing Rock Sioux growing: 21 Congress members asked President Barack Obama yesterday (November 15) to deny the easement. This same day, hundreds of cities around the globe rallied against the pipeline in a #NoDAPL day of action.