Federal appeals court denies Standing Rock's motion for emergency injunction against the Dakota Access Pipeline

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Bismarck, N.D. - A federal appeals court has denied the Standing Rock Sioux's Tribe's emergency motion for injunction to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline near Cannonball.

The court's decision says the Tribe failed to prove a substantial likelihood of success, the existence of irreparable harm without an injunction and that the injunction would not negatively impact public interest.

The court did go on to say companies should include tribes more thoroughly in projects such as the DAPL and it hopes the spirit of the National Historic Preservation Act may yet prevail.

“The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is not backing down from this fight,” said Dave Archambault II, Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. “We are guided by prayer, and we will continue to fight for our people. We will not rest until our lands, people, waters and sacred places are permanently protected from this destructive pipeline.”

"This ruling puts 17 million people who rely on the Missouri River at serious risk." He continues. "And, already, the Dakota Access Pipeline has led to the desecration of our sacred sites when the company bulldozed over the burials of our Lakota and Dakota ancestors. This is not the end of this fight. We will continue to explore all lawful options to protect our people, our water, our land, and our sacred places."


Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) applaud's the court's decision.

“The court’s decision reaffirms what we’ve said all along,” says LIUNA Local 563 Business Agent and career pipeliner Cory Bryson who manages the union’s Bismarck office. “Dakota Access is a lawfully permitted project that will make North Dakota safer and more prosperous by replacing risky crude rail shipments with a state-of-the-art pipeline built by skilled union labor.”

In a statement, Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., says, “This 3-0 ruling by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals confirms that the pipeline company, the North Dakota Historic Preservation Office, the North Dakota Public Service Commission, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the others involved in this pipeline have done what they need to do to move the project forward. I look forward to the workers getting back to work, doing the jobs they need to do Monday morning. Hopefully they can do it free from harassment and free from a threat of violence.”

In a statement, Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., says, "Today’s decision by a three judge appellate panel reaffirms Judge Boasberg’s ruling that the proper process was followed and construction can continue on the Dakota Access Pipeline. The Obama administration and the Army Corps of Engineers now need to work to help bring the pipeline to completion. We will continue to press the administration to provide more help to local law enforcement and to ensure that any ongoing protests are within the law. We are also working to secure funding to help the state bring in additional law enforcement resources through EMAC, the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, so that people living in the region feel safe and their private property rights are protected.

He continues, “The larger issue here is that energy infrastructure is vital to our country’s economy and national security, and it can be built safely. In fact, the project will be built on an existing easement that includes a natural gas pipeline and high voltage electrical transmission line. Industry needs legal and regulatory certainty to make the kinds of enormous investments required to build it. Pipelines, transmission lines, rail and roads are all necessary to safely transport both the renewable and traditional energy our country needs.”

In a statement, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., says, “For North Dakota communities, today’s court decision does not deliver the finality or the safety they deserve – nor is it likely the last legal step,” said Heitkamp. “That’s why I’ve been pressing the Army Corps of Engineers to make a decision determining the course of the pipeline while pushing for federal law enforcement resources our officers need to keep the peace on the ground. As a harsh North Dakota winter approaches and tensions continue to rise, protecting protesters, workers, and surrounding communities will be crucial – and I’ll keep working to secure the resources and the certainty they need to stay safe.”

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