A Bad Day to Be a Pipeline: Judge Shuts Down Dakota Access; Atlantic Coast Pipeline Canceled

Two of the most controversial pipeline projects in the United States were dealt massive blows within the span of 24 hours.

2 minute read

July 6, 2020, 9:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Dakota Access Protest

Brent Olson / Shutterstock

The nation woke this morning to news that a federal judge had ruled against the Trump administration and ordered the Dakota Access Pipeline shut down and emptied of oil by August 5. An environmental impact statement for the project will be next, according to the ruling.

Amy Sisk reports:

The $3.8 billion pipeline built by developer Energy Transfer has been moving Bakken oil to a shipping point in Illinois for three years. But U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, who is overseeing the lawsuit, in March ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to complete a full Environmental Impact Statement. The question of whether the pipeline would be shut down in the meantime had lingered since.

An EIS is a much more stringent review than the Environmental Assessment the Corps completed earlier. Such a study is expected to take 13 months, Boasberg wrote in the ruling he issued Monday.

The Dakota Access Pipeline captured national media attention as environmentalists and local Native American tribes united to oppose the project, and encountered stiff resistance from authorities during the fall, winter, and spring of 2016-2017.

Just one day earlier, the developers of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which had won a key Supreme Court victory in June, decided to cancel the project. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline attracted controversy for proposing to cross the Appalachian Trail on its journey between West Virginia and North Carolina. 

"Duke Energy and Dominion Energy said that lawsuits, mainly from environmentalists aimed at blocking the project, had increased costs to as much as $8 billion from about $4.5 billion to $5 billion when it was first announced in 2014," reports Ivan Penn on the latest development in the Atlantic Coast Pipeline's story. "Dominion also said on Sunday that it was selling all of its gas transmission and storage assets to an affiliate of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway in a deal valued at $9.7 billion."

Monday, July 6, 2020 in Bismark Tribune

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