Under the Obama administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the project needed an environmental-impact review. Now, the Corps has reversed course.
Late on Tuesday evening, as President Donald Trump announced his pick for the Supreme Court, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers signaled a shocking reversal: It will now allow the Dakota Access pipeline to go forward as planned.
Specifically, at the direction of the acting secretary of the army, the Corps will permit the pipeline to be built under Lake Oahe in North Dakota. This means that the agency will skip an environmental-impact review that it said it would conduct just last month, removing the last bureaucratic hurdle to the pipeline’s construction.
It will not remove the last legal hurdle, however. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said Tuesday that it would sue to block the pipeline if the Corps follows through on their announcement.
“The Army Corps lacks statutory authority to simply stop the [environmental-impact statement] and issue the easement,” said the tribe in a statement. “To abandon the [environmental review] would amount to a wholly unexplained and arbitrary change based on the President’s personal views and, potentially, personal investments.”
You can read the rest at the Atlantic Monthly.