Judge denies tribes' request to halt pipeline

A USA federal judge has rejected a last-ditch legal challenge from a Native American tribe to halt construction of the controversial North Dakota pipeline.

Chad Harrison, a councilman at-large for the Standing Rock Sioux, said the pipeline company and the government ignored the tribe's concerns for nearly three years before the Obama administration paused the project last September.

Except, of course, it wasn't an oil and gas pipeline company that created this situation - Energy Transfer Partners (NYSE:ETP), the builder of the Dakota Access line, is in fact the target of the protesters, who somewhat ironically like to call themselves "water protectors".

On Tuesday, Western Wire reported that the North Dakota Towing Association is working 24 hours a day to remove roughly 200 vehicles left behind by pipeline protestors before seasonal floods sweep the cars and trucks into the Missouri River.

Several people went out to Dallas' Energy Transfer Partner headquarters to let the leaders know they're not behind the Dakota Access Pipeline.

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Judge James Boasberg denied the order following Monday afternoon's hearing in Washington, D.C., and required the pipeline company to provide updates February 21 and every Monday thereafter on when oil will begin to flow through the pipe.

In total, $32.9 million has been spent by law enforcement.

The pipeline company has argued that the risks to the water supply are minimal and that the tribes didn't raise religious concerns earlier in the approval process.

Activists at Oceti Sakowin near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The Army Corps then elected not to undergo the additional environmental review and issued the permit last week.

The charges against two veterans, who said they use medical cannabis to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, come days after a veterans service organization announced it would be returning to Standing Rock to provide support. "What we oppose is development that is undertaken without our consent and in such a way that our community, our people, our cultural sites and our natural resources are put at the most risk".

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Mahmoud declined to comment after Wednesday's hearing, ignoring shouted questions as he walked away.

The tribe is also planning a march on Washington on March 10 in order to stop pipeline operations.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg rejected an attempt by tribes opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline to block its construction while they sue over decisions by the Army to allow the pipeline to proceed.

The Army Corps of Engineers also filed court documents on Monday, arguing that halting construction is unnecessary, as the tribes will have an opportunity to argue their case before oil flows through the pipeline. However, he said, he will consider the arguments more thoroughly at another hearing on February 27.

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