The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit today ruled it is up to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to decide whether the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) must cease operations – essentially allowing the critical crude oil pipeline to remain operational as the appeals process over permitting continues. This comes after a key water crossing permit for the line was vacated last month by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and the pipeline was ordered to be emptied of oil and shuttered by today, August 5. An administrative stay was issued on that order on July 14, temporarily allowing the pipeline’s operations to continue until the Appeals Court issued a determination.
Below is a statement that can be attributed to me, Craig Stevens, spokesman for the GAIN Coalition:
“The GAIN Coalition commends the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. for its decision allowing the Dakota Access Pipeline to remain operational while the Appeals Court considers the merits of the case. Considering the decades of experience and years of study on this specific site, the Army Corps of Engineers acted properly in issuing the necessary permits – and it is up to the federal government and the courts to ensure that when institutions and corporations dutifully follow the law, they are allowed to function in good faith.
“In short, U.S. companies should not be penalized when they follow the letter and spirit of the law in their efforts to strengthen our economy and national security. Activist courts that seek to shut in our nation’s natural resources and upend regulatory certainty in the energy sector will only succeed in weakening our nation and tip the balance of power in favor of foreign adversaries like Russia, Iran, and Venezuela. We hope – and fully anticipate – that commonsense will prevail and the Dakota Access Pipeline will overcome these legal challenges and continue to remain operational moving forward.”