Crude oil could begin flowing through the Dakota Access Pipeline as early as today (March 20).
This comes after a federal appeals court refused a request Saturday (March 18) by the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes to issue an “emergency order” to keep oil from flowing through the 1,172-mile long pipeline from North Dakota to Illinois, reports the Associated Press. Colorlines reached out to developer Energy Transfer Partners for comment but did not receive an answer by publication.
This decision does not impact the case Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe launched against the Army Corps of Engineers last July. That case’s court date is tentatively expected for April, says Earthjustice senior press secretary Phillip Ellis.
Several tribes, particularly the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, but also the Yankton Sioux, Oglala Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux—who make up part of the Oceti Sakowin or Great Sioux Nation—have looked to the courts to stop the $3.78 billion project in separate lawsuits, four of which have been combined, reports the AP. The efforts haven’t been effective, and, in addition, the current administration is supportive of the Dakota Access Pipeline and other energy projects.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is challenging the administration’s decision to steamroll the pipeline through President Donald Trump’s executive order in their lawsuit. That has become the case’s main argument—that the decision to reverse the Environmental Impact Statement process previously launched is illegal. “We think our legal argument is strong,” Ellis says. “That still remains to be proven in the court of law.”