The grassroots struggles against two Energy Transfer Partners oil pipelines delivering Bakken fracked oil from North Dakota to the Gulf of Mexico connected tribal members from both ends of the Mississippi River, as pictured when Standing Rock water protectors joined with Bayou Bridge Pipeline fighters in Louisiana. Photo courtesy of Indigenous Environmental Network

Native Sun News Today: Oil pipeline builders face new court challenges

GREAT FALLS, Montana – The oil industry took more heat from the courts July 14 and 16, with filings unfavorable to the builders of both the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline -- projects that tribal governments oppose.

On July 14, Bold Alliance announced it filed a new lawsuit here in Montana U.S. District Court to follow up on its recent victory at the U.S. Supreme Court blocking Keystone XL Pipeline construction through waterways as wrongfully permitted by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.

In the new suit, Bold Alliance is joined by plaintiffs at the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Sierra Club, charging U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt for the Bureau of Land Management’s “unlawful grant of a right-of-way and temporary use permit for the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline project.”

The filing is the latest in a series of hurdles facing Keystone XL Pipeline’s parent TC Energy (formerly TransCanada). They include several other legal challenges, oil market chaos, and a recent commitment by presumptive Democratic candidate Joe Biden to rescind the pipeline’s permit should he be elected president.

The Indigenous Environmental Network, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, and Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation are leading pending challenges to Keystone XL in the same court.

“Construction of the polluting Keystone XL Pipeline would be devastating for the tribes, farmers and communities along its route,” said Friends of the Earth Legal Director Marcie Keever.

“Those on the frontlines of dirty fossil fuel projects deserve a comprehensive environmental review to understand how those pipelines will impact their health and our environment,” she said.

The complaint alleges that the Bureau of Land Management permit for the tar-sands crude-oil conduit to cross approximately 44 miles of federal public lands in Montana suffered from faulty review by BLM and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“Like every action from the Trump Administration, this is another attempt to ignore environmental and health concerns to curry favor with corporate polluters. Blocking this pipeline will help stop this administration’s ongoing corruption,” she said.

An appeals court fined Energy Transfer Partners (now Energy Transfer LP), the company behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) in North Dakota, for building its Bayou Bridge Pipeline across private property before acquiring the legal rights to do so.


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