The following is an excerpt from Julia Harte | September 6, 2016 | reuters.com |
A Native American tribal chairman said his people were "disappointed" that a company agreed on Tuesday to temporarily halt construction of an oil pipeline only in some but not all parts of North Dakota where the tribe says it has sacred sites.
After violent clashes over the weekend between protesters and security officers near the construction site, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and a neighboring Native American tribe had asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Sunday for a temporary restraining order against Dakota Access, the company building the pipeline.
U.S. Judge James Boasberg said on Tuesday he had granted in part and denied in part the temporary restraining order, and that he would decide by Friday whether to grant the tribes' larger challenge to the pipeline, which would require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw permits for the project.
A group of firms led by Energy Transfer Partners (ETP.N) is building the 1,100-mile (1,770-km) pipeline. The $3.7 billion project would be the first to bring crude oil from Bakken shale, a vast oil formation in North Dakota, directly to refineries in the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman David Archambault II said in a statement the ruling puts the tribe's "sacred places at further risk of ruin and desecration."
Dakota Access agreed to halt activity until Friday in an area representing about half the total space requested in the tribes' temporary restraining order.
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