A federal judge has denied an emergency request to delay the process of shutting down the Dakota Access Pipeline while the project's attorneys appeal the decision in order to keep the oil pipeline running.
Following the order, the pipeline owners, Dakota Access, which is controlled by its parent company Energy Transfer, filed an emergency motion to temporarily stay Boasberg's order as well as a notice to appeal the decision to the circuit court. Although Boasberg rejected the application for an emergency stay, he said the court will set a status hearing to discuss the schedule for briefing on a separate request to stay the court's decision while the case plays out in the appeals court once he receives that request.
“We believe that the ruling issued this morning from Judge Boasberg is not supported by the law or the facts of the case. Furthermore, we believe that Judge Boasberg has exceeded his authority in ordering the shutdown of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which has been safely operating for more than three years. We will be immediately pursuing all available legal and administrative processes and are confident that once the law and full record are fully considered Dakota Access Pipeline will not be shut down and that oil will continue to flow,” Lisa Coleman, a spokesperson for the company, said in a statement to The Epoch Times.
Dakota Access's attorneys argued in their application that an emergency stay was warranted because the company needs some certainty from a ruling on the forthcoming stay motion. They argue that the process of shutting down a major interstate pipeline involves a number of time-consuming and expensive steps and requires "well more" than 30 days to complete.
In his ruling on Monday, Boasberg wrote that he was mindful of the disruption the shutdown would cause to the pipeline and the oil industry but determined that the gravity of the federal government’s deficiencies “outweighs the negative effects of halting the oil flow” for about 13 months, which is the amount of time the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimated an environmental impact statement would take.
The pipeline owners and its supporters argue that shutting the pipeline down would have serious repercussions for the North Dakota oil industry. They say there is currently no viable alternative method to transport 570,000 barrels of crude oil that the Dakota Access Pipeline is able to carry each day, and that this would drive up prices of the oil.
They also say the shutdown would also have a “reverberating effect” on North Dakota’s economy, which heavily relies on oil and gas taxes.