Victory for the Standing Rock Sioux: Federal Judge Orders Dakota Access Pipeline Shut Down


Gabby Brown,, 914-261-4626

Washington, DC -- This morning, a federal judge ordered that the Dakota Access pipeline be shut down and emptied of oil by August 5, 2020. The ruling is a major victory for the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes, who successfully challenged the Trump administration’s approval of the easement for the pipeline crossing of the Missouri River at Lake Oahe. 

In March, the court ruled that the Trump administration had violated the National Environmental Policy Act by failing to adequately review the risks of leaks or spills from the pipeline, and ordered the US Army Corps of Engineers to prepare an environmental impact statement. Today’s ruling halts pipeline operation while this environmental review is being conducted, as urged by the Tribes, joined by environmental, landowner, and Indigenous groups

Despite the ongoing legal challenges and lack of demand for the project, Energy Transfer has continued to push for an expansion of the pipeline that would nearly double the amount of oil running through it to as much as 1.1 million barrels per day. 

In response, Catherine Collentine, Associate Director of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign, released the following statement: 

“Today’s ruling is a testament to the perseverance of the Standing Rock Sioux, who have refused to give up the fight to protect their water from this dirty oil pipeline. This pipeline was a terrible idea when the Trump administration allowed it to be constructed, and amid crashing oil demand it makes less sense than ever to put critical water resources at risk for the sake of oil no one needs. It’s time for Energy Transfer to abandon its ill-fated expansion plans and shut down Dakota Access for good.” 

See response from the Standing Rock Sioux/Earthjustice HERE (Spanish-language release also available HERE).


About the Sierra Club

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