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Dakota Access Pipeline announces May 14 as first date of service






Chairman Dave Archambault II of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe addresses the Native Nations Rise rally in Washington, D.C., on March 10, 2017. Photo by Indianz.Com / More on Flickr

The wealthy backers of the Dakota Access Pipeline announced May 14 as the anticipated first date of service, giving tribes more time to halt the controversial project.

The firm completed the 1,172-mile pipeline after the Trump administration issued an easement to cross federally-managed land in North Dakota. Despite the obstacles, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is still hoping it can win the #NoDAPL battle.

"We're going to try to stop the oil from flowing," Chairman Dave Archambault II said during an appearance at the University of North Dakota, The Fargo Forum reported. "We're going to build awareness about the investors, the lenders, the banks, the financial institutions who fund projects like this and who fund companies like Energy Transfer Partners."

The tribe has asked a federal judge to set aside the Trump administration's approval of the pipeline, which comes within a half-mile of its reservation. A hearing hasn't been scheduled but action could come before the May 14 service date.

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe has made a similar request to Judge James E. Boasberg, who so far has declined to stop the pipeline. He recently allowed Dakota Access to keep some oil spill information secret even after he said the firm was short on "specific facts" regarding operations of the project.

The pipeline is backed by Energy Transfer Partners, whose Rover natural gas pipeline spilled nearly 50,000 barrels of drilling fluids in wetlands in Ohio, Bloomberg reported. The spills were discovered in two separate places in the state last week, according to the dispatch, which was based on filings submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Tuesday.

Energy Transfer's billionaire chief executive officer Kelcy Warren was one of the largest individual donors to the campaign of President Donald Trump, according to Capital Research Center. A former member of the firm's board, Rick Perry, a former governor of Texas, is now part of the Trump administration.

Four days after taking office in January, Trump directed his administration to "expedite" review of Dakota Access. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the project barely two weeks later without consulting any of the affected tribes.

Trump also issued a memorandum calling on pipelines to be made with American materials. Energy Transfer opposes the mandate, The Dallas Morning News reported.

“The impacts of such a restriction are expected to severely delay project schedules, drive up costs, decrease availability and lower quality,” the firm said in a letter to the Department of Commerce, the paper reported. The agency is headed by Wilbur Ross, one of the billionaires in Trump's Cabinet.

Read More on the Story:
David Archambault: Standing Rock Sioux will 'try to stop the oil from flowing' (The Fargo Forum 4/18)
Federal Judge: Public Has No Right To Know About Dakota Pipeline Spill Risks (MintPress News 4/19)
Energy Transfer's Latest Pipeline Woe Is a 50,000-Barrel Spill (Bloomberg 4/19)
Dallas company behind Dakota Access pushes back on Trump's 'Buy American' pipelines mandate (The Dallas Morning News 4/19)
East Coast Refiner Shuns Bakken Delivery as Dakota Access Pipeline Starts (Reuters 4/19)

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