CANNON BALL, N.D.—The company building the $3.8 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline is slamming the Obama administration after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ decision not to grant an easement for the project.
The Army Corps announced that it will not allow the four-state pipeline to be built under Lake Oahe in North Dakota, a Missouri River reservoir where construction had been on hold.
Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners released a statement Dec 4 calling the decision, “just the latest in a series of overt and transparent political actions by an administration which has abandoned the rule of law in favour of currying favour with a narrow and extreme political constituency.”
The company reiterated its plan to complete construction of the pipeline without rerouting around Lake Oahe.
The decision to refuse the easement is a victory for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its supporters, who argued the project would threaten the tribe’s water source and cultural sites.
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan called the decision to deny a government permit “big-government decision-making at its worst.”
The Wisconsin Republican tweeted Sunday night that he looks “forward to putting this anti-energy presidency behind us.”
Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier, whose department has done much of the policing for the Dakota Access pipeline protests, says “local law enforcement does not have an opinion” on the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision not to grant an easement for the project.
Kirchmeier says the sheriff’s department’s role “is to enforce the law” and that it “will continue to do so.”
Miles Allard of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe said he was pleased by the decision but remained cautious, saying opponents of the pipeline “don’t know what Trump is going to do.”
Allard says he’s been telling his people “to stand up and not to leave until this is over.”