A tribe of American Indians, the Standing Rock Sioux, allege that the Dakota
Access pipeline, a proposed oil pipeline planned to be built across four
states, endangers the water supply in the region, violates multiple federal
laws, and threatens ancient sacred sites just outside of the tribe’s
Their case against the Army Corps of Engineers building the pipeline states
that the engineers failed to properly consult with tribal members, something
required under the National Historic Preservation Act, and that using
a streamlined permit process to review the project should not have happened.
A judge is expected to rule on whether or not to block the $3.8 billion
Dakota Access pipeline’s construction on Friday, September 9.
While experts aren’t convinced that the case against the project
will be successful in entirely halting construction, recent cases may
support their position. Just this year, a gas and oil lease in northwest
Montana was cancelled by federal officials after Canadian and United States
Blackfoot tribes argued that the project would disturb a sacred area.
Another project, a $700 million proposed coal-export terminal intended
to be constructed in Washington state, was rejected by the Army Corps
of Engineers after regulators recognized that the project violated the
fishing rights of the Lummi tribe protected by the National Historic Preservation Act.
However the judge rules on Friday, both sides appear ready to file an appeal
that will at the very least delay the project even further. In an
interview with the Ledger-Enquirer, Domina Law Group’s Brian Jorde said:
<blockquote> “Delays are often critical elements to victory.
It's a death by a thousand cuts. If there are so many delays and frustration
on the overall project, you have a better chance of it not going through.”
Brian was an instrumental part of the team that fought back against the
construction of the
TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline that was
rejected by President Barack Obama in November of 2015. Brian was also one of 70 or so private property rights
activists and environmentalists who
attended a conference earlier this year to discuss strategies that can be used to fight back against the growing
use of eminent domain laws used by energy companies in order to build
pipelines on private property across the United States.