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Published: Tue, February 14, 2017
Business | By Megan Pierce

Judge denies tribes' request to block final link in Dakota pipeline

Judge denies tribes' request to block final link in Dakota pipeline

A U.S. District Court judge on Monday denied a restraining order that would have temporarily halted work on the hotly contested Dakota Access Pipeline. In December, the Obama Administration denied ETP's last needed permit, but with Trump's stated support of the pipeline, that victory was short-lived for the Standing Rock Sioux.

Heeding instructions by President Donald Trump to let the project move forward, the Army Corps of Engineers issued a final easement permit on February 8 that would let Energy Transfer Partners cross the Missouri River under Lake Oahe in North Dakota to finish the pipeline.

Lawyers for the Cheyenne River Sioux and the Standing Rock Sioux wanted Judge Boasberg to block construction with a temporary restraining order, saying that the line would obstruct the free exercise of their religious practices.

Once completed, the 1,172-mile pipeline will carry more than half a billion gallons of crude oil daily across four states, from North Dakota to IL. The pipeline is scheduled and expected to run under the lake, which the Standing Rock Sioux and other local Native American tribes claim is surrounded by "sacred" land. That's the last big section needed before the pipeline could carry North Dakota oil to IL.

Previous court filings by potentially affected tribes had made no mention of the Dakota Access Pipeline potentially compromising their ability to freely practice their religion.

The United States Army Corps of Engineers had given Energy Transfer Partners permission last week to work on this section near the Lake Oahe reservoir.

Developer Energy Transfer Partners last week received final approval from the Army to lay pipe under the Missouri River in North Dakota _ the final chunk of construction for the 1,200-mile pipeline to move North Dakota oil to IL. Only a few hundred protesters remain, and crews have been removing tipis and yurts.

The developer of the Dakota Access pipeline says a judge should reject a request by the Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Sioux tribes to stop construction on the final stretch of the $3.8 billion project.

USA military veterans even raised hundreds of thousands of dollars and had begun heading back to North Dakota to lend their bodies as human shields to protect protesters struggling to prevent the Dakota Access Pipeline from ever running under Lake Oahe.

A quick court hearing proved that those concerned about the ability to secure a restraining order in the Dakota Access Pipeline case were right to be anxious.

Construction on the pipeline had stalled for months due to opposition from protesters. The Army Corps of Engineers on February 8 granted the approvals needed for construction to continue, in the form of an easement to go through federal lands.

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