Dakota Access pipeline is a long-haul fight, but tribes have scored a key victory

When the U.S. government called for Dakota Access, a pipeline developer, to pause building an oil line on federal land in North Dakota two weeks ago, the move caught everyone by surprise. A federal court had just declined a tribe’s request to halt the project, now more than 60 percent complete, just like other state agencies and courts elsewhere had sided with the developers.
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“We got an unexpected announcement in relation to the court decision. Could be a game-changer,” Earthjustice, which is representing the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in court, told reporters via email that Friday afternoon. “Please wait on your story.”
By then many news sites — including ThinkProgress — had already reported that a judge concluded the federal government had “likely” complied with consulting with tribes when it gave Dakota Access permits to build through the Missouri, the longest river in North America. And moreover, that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe didn’t prove it would suffer harms that an injunction could prevent

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