Army Corps Says in Court Filing They Will Issue Easement for DAPL


Protest organizer Kristen Kelsch hold a sign and chants across the street from the State Capitol in Bismarck on Thursday. A line of police prevented Kelsch and others from hold the protest to the Dakota Access Pipeline on the Capitol grounds

North Dakota Senator John Hoeven, along with Congressman Kevin Cramer, were saying this was “imminent” last week.

They were right. The Corps has told a federal judge in filings that they will be issuing an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline, a decision they’d reached before the Obama administration stepped in to obstruct:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said in a court filing it will grant Energy Transfer Partners LP the easement it needs to finish the controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline.

The company needs the easement to complete work under Lake Oahe, following President Donald Trump’s memorandum that advised expediting review of the project. Trump took office promising to favor oil and natural gas developments as well as support new infrastructure, which has included reviving TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline.

The move to allow completion of Dakota Access, after months of heated protests, is a blow to opponents who have argued the pipeline would damage sites culturally significant to Native Americans and pose an environmental hazard where it crosses the Missouri River. The 1,172-mile (1,886-kilometer) project is emblematic of the broader battle over new pipelines. The $3.8 billion line has been stalled since September when the Obama administration halted work to reconsider prior decisions to allow it.

You can read the full filing below.

The question now is when the easement will actually, you know, be issued (UPDATE: Reports now say easement will be issued Wednesday). And how much work the pipeline company can get done before the projects various enemies can get a court to enjoin work pending some new legal argument.

And will the courts, at this point, be willing to intervene any further – even to the point of an injunction – in a project that’s already nearly done?

For what it’s worth, Energy Transfer Partners told the court that they could be done with construction in 60 days and have oil flowing in 80 from the point of the easement being issued:

Meanwhile law enforcement agencies are looking for bodies as hundreds of truckloads of trash are taken out of the #NoDAPL camps.

What a waste.

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