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The Dakota Access Pipeline will begin pumping oil from North Dakota later this month, but the companies constructing the project said that efforts had been made in recent weeks to sabotage the line’s progress.
A legal filing submitted late on Monday by Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) says attacks that “pose threats to life, physical safety and the environment” targeted DAPL.
“These coordinated attacks will not stop line-fill operations,” the document continued. “With that in mind, the company now believes that oil may flow sometime this week.”
No attacks on the line in North Dakota have been reported so far, according to Morton Country sheriff’s office spokesman Rob Keller. The county’s police department played an active role when anti-DAPL protests grew to their furthest heights last year.
The Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes are still fighting a court battle against the pipeline’s construction, though federal Judge James Boasberg denied an injunction against ETP to stop oil flow until legal issues are resolved.
Boasberg’s ruling said that the court “acknowledges that the tribe is likely to suffer irreparable harm to its members’ religious exercise if oil is introduced into the pipeline, but Dakota Access would also be substantially harmed by an injunction, given the financial and logistical injuries that would ensue.”
The removal of the threat of an emergency injunction paves the way for ETP to start pumping crude through the 1,172-mile pipeline, which runs from North Dakota to Illinois.
The US$3.8-billion Dakota Access pipeline, which was last year suspended by the Obama administration but greenlighted again by Donald Trump, will carry crude from the North Dakota Bakken shale play to Illinois. On its website, Energy Transfer Partners notes that Lake Oahe already contains eight other pipelines.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…