Federal judge will not rule on pipeline until September
Now! Photos at Standing Rock camp by Michelle Cook, Dine'
Water defenders, including veterans, waited for judge's ruling today on the front line of resistance.
By Brenda Norrell
WASHINGTON -- A federal judge delayed a decision on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's federal case to halt the Dakota Access Pipeline, a crude oil pipeline now threatening the Missouri River. The case in federal court, the motion for preliminary injunction against Dakota Access Pipeline, is being heard in the District Court for the District of Columbia.
U.S. District Judge James Boasberg heard arguments and said he would rule in September. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is challenging the Army Corps of Engineers' decision to grant permits for Energy Transfer Partners' $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline, which crosses through four states.
Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault, II said, “We are pleased that we had our day in Court today, and we look forward to a ruling soon. I believe that everyone who attended the hearing today will understand that the Tribe is seeking fundamental justice here—as we seek to protect our waters and our sacred sites."
"Second, whatever the final outcome in court I believe we have already established an important principle—that is tribes will be heard on important matters that affect our vital interests. The companies and the federal government now know that they cannot ignore tribes—like they tried to do with the Dakota Access Pipeline. I believe that we have established an important precedent, and that in the future, Indian voices will be heard before the federal government acts."
"Third, I believe we have set the foundation for the future in terms of tribal unity. We have seen the power of tribes coming together in unity and prayer and we will continue to pray for the protection of water, mother earth and her creation, as well as all past and future generations. And I look forward to strengthening the Oceti Sakowin and the Council lodge. Most of all, these steps in unity must be done in the right way—which means that we must remain proud and peaceful. I want to emphasize once again—as I have throughout this matter—that there is no place for violence or threats or unlawful activity in what we do. We must stay unified in peace and in prayer. That is the way we will provide a better life for generations to come," Chairman Archambault said.
The pipeline plans to deliver 450,000 barrels of Bakken crude oil per day from North Dakota to Illinois, where it will be shipped to refineries on the Gulf Coast.
However, the map of the pipeline shows transfer points on a new pipeline system that goes all the way from the Alberta tar sands in Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. The new pipeline system was permitted in sections to avoid detection while the focus was on halting the Keystone XL pipeline.
The Dakota Access Pipeline documents show that the pipeline had already applied for permits to the U.S. Dept. of Energy, in the spring of 2014, before President Obama came to visit Standing Rock.
The case is Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Case No. 1:16-cv-01534-JEB, was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on July 27, 2016.