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Energy Transfer Not Shutting Dakota Access Oil Pipeline

Energy Transfer is not emptying or shutting down the Dakota Access Pipeline and is using all legal ways to fight the court order from Monday that would shut down the oil pipeline by August 5.

On Monday, a federal judge ruled that the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), in operation since 2017, must be emptied and shut down within 30 days, by August 5, until a new comprehensive environmental review is completed.

The United States District Court for the District of Columbia said that the Army Corps of Engineers had violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) when it gave a permit to the pipeline to build beneath Lake Oahe.

In a statement on the court ruling on Monday, Energy Transfer said, “We believe that Judge Boasberg has exceeded his authority in ordering the shutdown of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which has been safely operating for more than three years. We will be immediately pursuing all available legal and administrative processes and are confident that once the law and full record are fully considered Dakota Access Pipeline will not be shut down and that oil will continue to flow.”

Energy Transfer’s unit Dakota Access LLC filed a motion to stay the U.S. federal court order, but that motion was later denied.

“We are not shutting in the line,” Energy Transfer spokeswoman Vicki Granado told Bloomberg in an email on Wednesday, noting that this is not defiance of a court order as the company would seek all legal means available to have that order quashed.

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In a statement on Wednesday, Energy Transfer said, “To be clear, we have never suggested that we would defy a court order. Rather, DAPL is seeking appropriate relief from that order through the established legal process.”

Before the motion to stay was denied, Energy Transfer said that in case that motion was denied, it would “pursue a stay and expedited appeal with the Court of Appeals. We also believe that the Army Corps of Engineers has the ultimate jurisdiction over this matter, pursuant to its regulations governing Corps property.”

According to Height Securities, Energy Transfer could win an appeal, especially because the judge who ordered the pipeline shut used non-operating pipelines to justify the decision.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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