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August 10, 2020

New Hope For Dakota Access Pipeline

As Connecting the Dots reported earlier this summer, there has been significant movement in the legal battle to keep the Dakota Access Pipeline alive.

Last week there was more.

On August 5, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reversed a lower court judge’s earlier order to shut down the pipeline pending a more complete environmental review. According to The Associated Press, the court ruled that U.S. District Judge James Boasberg “did not make the findings necessary” to shut down the pipeline. (Judge Boasberg, who sits on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Circuit, had ordered the shutdown of the pipeline, which runs from North Dakota to an oil storage terminal in Illinois, by August 5, 2020.)

Still, the appeals court’s decision was mixed for pipeline operator Energy Transfer LP. That is because the higher court declined to grant the company’s motion to block the environmental review and said that its expectation is that all parties will “clarify their positions” in a lower court.

In other words: the saga over this important infrastructure project continues.