We are aware of how difficult it has been to achieve minor progress against the fossil fuel industry, and how relentless that industry has been in fighting back every step along the way. An appeal is expected. An emergency stay of the order was denied temporarily.
A federal judge in Washington D.C. refused to issue a provisional stay of the court’s Monday order to close the Dakota Access Pipeline pending environmental review.
Dakota Access LLC filed a motion on Monday to stay U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg’s order to empty oil from the pipeline and shut it down pending the production of an Environmental Impact Statement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
In its motion, Dakota Access LLC said it would be appealing Boasberg’s decision and “seeking a stay pending appeal to permit the Dakota Access Pipeline to continue operating while the D.C. Circuit considers the appeal.” Dakota Access LLC said it would first seek a stay pending appeal from Judge Boasberg, then ask the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for a stay if Judge Boasberg refused.
Judge Boasberg denied the provisional stay request but said he would set a date for a hearing once he received Dakota Access’s motion for stay.
Federal Judge Refuses Initial Request to Stay Closing of the Dakota Access Pipeline by Rena Paul, MSN News, 7/7/2020
Following years of resistance, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Indigenous organizers across the country scored a massive legal victory Monday when a federal judge ordered the Dakota Access Pipeline to be shut down and emptied of all oil, pending an environmental review. “You ever have a dream, a dream that comes true? That is what it is,” responds LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, an elder of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and founder of Sacred Stone Camp, where resistance in 2016 brought tens of thousands of people to oppose the pipeline’s construction on sacred lands. We also speak with Ojibwe lawyer Tara Houska, founder of the Giniw Collective.
[WARNING: Includes video of security forces using dogs to attack peaceful water protectors.]
AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to turn now to our top story. In a massive win for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Indigenous organizers across the country, a federal judge has ordered the Dakota Access Pipeline shut down and called for it to be emptied of all oil in the next 30 days, pending an environmental review. U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg issued the decision on Monday, saying the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated environmental law when it granted a permit for the pipeline without an extensive environmental assessment. That permit has now been revoked until an environmental review is conducted — a process that could take years.
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairperson Mike Faith called the move “historic” and said in a statement, quote, “This pipeline should have never been built here. We told them that from the beginning,” he said.
Monday’s historic court order comes more than four years after the resistance at Standing Rock began in 2016, bringing tens of thousands of people to North Dakota to oppose the pipeline’s construction on sacred lands. Democracy Now! was there on the ground covering the struggle. On September 3rd, 2016, Labor Day weekend, the Dakota Access Pipeline company unleashed dogs and pepper spray on Native Americans seeking to protect their sacred tribal burial site from destruction.
LADONNA BRAVE BULL ALLARD: You ever have a dream, a dream that comes true? That is what it is when I got up in the morning and seen that. I was overwhelmed. I’m still overwhelmed. If people could understand how much I love my home, how much I love my land and my river, it is the greatest thing in the whole world.
I know that it’s going to be appealed. I know it’s going to be a long journey, but we’re here for the long journey. It is not about who’s right or wrong; it’s about how do we live in the future.
And for me, the last four years have been hard. And so this has been a great blessing. I am so overthankful for the judges, for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, for the lawyers and for every water protector that stood up on every frontline, for every keyboard warrior, for the support. Overwhelming is all I can say, and great thanks.
TARA HOUSKA: Yeah, without, I guess, giving away too much of the reaction of the actual lawyers that are on this case, I would say, you know, to me, I see a very clear message to the fossil fuel industry that trying to shove through permits against the will of the nations that are impacted is just not going to work any longer; that, in this particular instance, they tried to push through an environmental assessment, which is a low-level environmental review, of a massive, massive pipeline project, over half a million barrels of oil a day. And yeah, they needed to do an environmental impact statement, which is years of consultation, which is years of review and consideration of sacred sites, cultural sites, all these different properties that have to be considered before approving a project of this size.
LADONNA BRAVE BULL ALLARD: I had no idea that so many people would come and stand up. But after talking to Indigenous people from all over the world, we are all in the same position of extraction industries coming in, destroying water and land and our environments.
Right now we are in the sixth extinction rate of animals. We shouldn’t be here. When I started talking to people from everywhere, one of the things that I understood is it is a time for change. The time is now. We cannot go any further with extraction industries, until we repair and allow the Earth to heal again. That is the most important thing that we have to do to live. We have to have clean water. We have to have clean environments to live. And if you’re putting money before lives, that is unjust.“A Dream That Comes True”: Standing Rock Elder Hails Order to Shut Down DAPL After Years of Protest, Democracy NOW, July 7, 2020