Obama-appointed judge cites need for environmental review.
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A federal district court ruled that the Dakota Access Pipeline, the oil route from North Dakota to Illinois that is a crucial component to the Trump administration’s plans for energy, must be shut down pending an environmental review, and be emptied of oil by Aug. 5.
In a 24-page order, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington, D.C., wrote that he was “mindful of the disruption” that shutting down the pipeline would cause, but that it must be done within 30 days. Pipeline owner Energy Transfer plans to ask a court to halt the order and will seek an expedited appeal, spokeswoman Vicki Granado said.
The order comes after Boesberg said in April that a more extensive review was necessary than what the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers already conducted and that he would consider whether the pipeline should be shuttered during the new assessment.
“The Court does not reach its decision with blithe disregard for the lives it will affect,” Boasberg wrote Monday.
“Yet, given the seriousness of the Corps’ NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) error, the impossibility of a simple fix, the fact that Dakota Access did assume much of its economic risk knowingly, and the potential harm each day the pipeline operates, the Court is forced to conclude that the flow of oil must cease,” he added.
Not surprisingly, Boasberg was nominated to his current position by Barack Obama. The current administration is not planning to roll over and let this decision stand. U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette issued the following statement on this decision:
Our country is blessed with an abundance of natural resources that can contribute enormously to our economy if we build out the appropriate infrastructure, like the Dakota Access Pipeline, while simultaneously protecting our environment and lowering emissions. The environmental lobby continues to litigate their way into controlling and shuttering this economic growth.
The Trump Administration will continue fighting for the expansion of American energy infrastructure, well-paying jobs for the American people, and the strengthening of our energy security and reliability.”
Additionally, Energy Transfer, the Texas company that owns the pipeline, plans to file a motion to stay the decision, and if that fails, appeal to a higher court.
“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,” it said.
In his opinion, Judge Boasberg wrote that the court was “mindful of the disruption such a shutdown will cause” but that it had to consider the “potential harm each day the pipeline operates.”
…Energy Transfer said in its statement that if the pipeline were to shut down, state, local and tribal governments would lose billions of dollars in taxes and royalties.
“Farmers will suffer as crude transportation will move to rail, displacing corn, wheat and soy crops that would normally be moved to market,” it said. “Ironically, the counties along these rail lines will face increased environmental risks due to the increased amount of crude oil traveling by rail.”
The environmentalists’ victory may be Pyrrhic even if the appeal fails. Also, if the ruling stands and halts the oil flow, the pipeline could resume operations after the Army Corps of Engineers’ environmental review is completed.
Finally, it must before noted that before Seattle’s “CHOP” was created, protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline created a self-autonomous zone that became the “Burning Man” of the Mid West, including a mountain of trash that threatened to become an environmental disaster.
Here is a video journey back in time, recalling the horrendous mess left by the “nature lovers”:DONATE
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