Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Appeals Court Halts Dakota Access Construction Near Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Lands

Counsel for Corporation says the worldwide protest movement has been a public relations and financial disaster for the project.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has issued an order that bars the Dakota Access Pipeline from working within 20 miles on both sides of the Missouri River at Lake Oahe.

The Native American #NoDAPL protestors and their allies are seeking a permanent injunction to protect sacred sites and burial grounds around the lake.

The court described Friday's order as "administrative," so as to give the judges more time to consider the merits of the underlying lawsuit.

"The purpose of this administrative injunction is to give the court sufficient opportunity to consider the emergency motion for injunction pending appeal and should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits of that motion," the clerk of the court wrote in the brief, one-page, order.

The action could be an expensive setback for Dakota Access.

Attorney William Leone, representing the corporation, reported in a status conference that the worldwide protest movement has been a public relations and financial disaster for the project.

Their international reputation suffered significantly when they sneaked in on Saturday morning of Memorial Day weekend and plowed under some of the sites in question. Protesters trying to stop the destruction were met by private security guards. Videotape posted online showed the nonviolent #NoDAPL protesters being attacked with mace and dogs.

After that ugly incident, construction was halted on lands controlled by the federal government, but Dakota Access continued working on privately held properties.

The pipeline has already been laid on the east side of the lake. They had intended to keep on working on the west side, but this new court order halts the construction altogether.

"This company has lost $5 billion in market value" in just the last two weeks, Leone told a federal judge in Washington, D.C.

A panel of three D.C. Circuit judges will hear the oral arguments on the motion for the permanent injunction. The hearing has not yet been scheduled, but is likely to be happen quickly, given the publicity of the situation.

On of the judges, Janice Rogers Brown, is known to have a strong anti-tribal record. The other judges are Thomas B. Griffith and Cornelia T.L. Pillard. Pillard sat on a panel that gave significant victory to the Cowlitz Tribe of Washington in a land-into-trust case.

The hearing will take place at the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., the same place where a large crowd turned out in August for a rally in support of the movement.


See our original breaking #NoDAPL article at


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