Judge Rules Thousands Of Disputed DAPL Documents Are Public Records

A state judge has ruled that thousands of documents related to security during the construction in North Dakota of the heavily protested Dakota Access Pipeline are public and subject to the state’s open records law.

The Friday ruling by South Central District Judge Cynthia Feland is a victory for The Intercept news organization, which sued in November 2020 to get access to the documents for investigative journalism on the topics of “environmental justice, the treatment of Indigenous peoples and workers, and government efforts to suppress First Amendment-protected activities.”

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Ruby Montoya Seeks To Withdraw Guilty Plea

On August 26, admitted Dakota Access Pipeline saboteur Ruby Montoya filed a motion in federal court seeking to withdraw her guilty plea, claiming she was coerced into signing it by her previous attorneys, movement “leaders”, and her abusive father. The motion also claims that government agents may have taught Montoya to use a welder and encouraged her to use it for pipeline sabotage, indicating a possible entrapment defense.

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Standing Rock Lakota Youth Call For Biden To Shut Down Dakota Access Pipeline

Standing Rock – Today, Lakota youth from the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River tribal nations announced a plan to run over 93 miles back to the Oceti Sakowin Camp site to call on President Biden to shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The youth are asking for everyone who stood with Standing Rock four years ago to participate by uploading their own #NoDAPL

The oil pipeline poses a grave threat to the safety and sanctity of the tribes’ water, hunting and fishing rights, and cultural and religious practices. Federal courts have sided with the tribes on the years-long litigation and have revoked DAPL’s federal easement required by the Mineral Leasing Act.

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‘People Are Still Putting Their Bodies On The Line To Stop This Pipeline’

Bias lived in the anti-pipeline camps for five months and got sev­en state mis­de­meanor charges of their own. Bias has been deal­ing with the gen­er­al legal after­math of Stand­ing Rock ever since, fight­ing their own charges and sup­port­ing the fed­er­al felony defendants.

As peo­ple cel­e­brate the court rul­ing against the pipeline, Bias wants to remind them that the phys­i­cal part of the strug­gle is not over.

“We’re still fight­ing this pipeline, because we still have peo­ple incar­cer­at­ed for the work we did in camp,” Bias says. ​“Peo­ple have got to rec­og­nize that peo­ple are still putting their bod­ies on the line in prison to stop this pipeline.”

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DAPL Shutdown? ‘We Have Not Yet Taken Any Steps’

The owner of the Dakota Access oil pipeline is accepting shipments for next month despite a judge’s ruling ordering it to shut down and remove all oil by Aug. 5, according to media reports. In a statement, the Lakota People’s Law Project’s lead attorney, Chase Iron Eyes, and chief counsel, Daniel Sheehan, called Energy Transfer Partners’ declaration that it would not shut down the flow of oil through the Dakota Access Pipeline “unacceptable.”

“ETP has asserted that they believe Judge Boasberg exceeded his authority in ordering the emptying of Dakota Access,” they said in a statement. “However, Judge Boasberg’s scope of authority is not something ETP has the discretion to interpret.”

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Federal Judge Orders Dakota Access Pipeline Shut Down

The Dakota Access Pipeline must be shut down and emptied of oil within 30 days while a lengthy environmental review of the project is conducted, a federal judge ruled Monday.

The move was requested earlier this year by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and three other Sioux tribes in the Dakotas who fear environmental harm from the pipeline and have spent four years in court fighting the project. Thousands of pipeline opponents from around the world who took up their cause flocked to southern North Dakota in 2016 and 2017 to protest the project, raising the profile of the tribes’ fight. Some clashed with police, resulting in more than 760 arrests.

“The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and millions of others who fought against the Dakota Access Pipeline showed us the power of standing together against injustice,” Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted on Monday. Standing Rock leaders, meanwhile, are looking ahead to the next steps in fighting the pipeline.

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Two Women Face 110 Years In Prison For Attempting To Sabotage The Dakota Access Pipeline

Two Catholic worker activists have been indicted on charges for their efforts to try and stop the Dakota Access pipeline. If found guilty, the women face up to 110 years in prison as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. Two years ago Ruby Montoya and Jessica Reznicek confessed to acts of sabotage on the Dakota Access pipeline, including damaging pipeline vale sites using a welding torch. The women claimed that the actions were necessary to protect the rivers and waterways that the pipline’s construction threatened. According to The Intercept, the woman reported that they had “no choice but to act.”

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Infrared Aerial Surveillance Used At Standing Rock To Monitor And Track Protesters

For months, the North Dakota Highway Patrol flew daily surveillance flights over the protesters’ camps and used forward-looking infrared (FLIR) cameras to gather real-time geo-spatial intelligence (GEOINT). These thermographic cameras sense infrared radiation emitted by heat sources which give law enforcement the ability to perceive thermal radiation and monitor their area of land operations at night.

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Dakota Access Pipeline Company Is Abusing The Judicial System To Silence Dissent

In a win for free speech, a federal court in North Dakota recently dismissed a baseless $900 million lawsuit brought by the Dakota Access Pipeline company against Greenpeace and a number of individual protesters. The company should have learned its lesson. Instead, it refiled the case in state court.

These meritless cases are textbook examples of “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation,” or SLAPPs. This tactic is increasingly used by corporations to silence critics with expensive legal actions. Protesters and advocacy groups have the right to freely and vigorously criticize their opponents, even when their speech threatens to subvert corporate interests.

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Energy Transfer, Banks Lost Billions By Ignoring Early Dakota Access Pipeline Concerns

Roughly four years ago, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) filed a federal application to build a 1,172 mile oil pipeline from North Dakota’s Bakken shale across the U.S. to Illinois at a projected cost of $3.8 billion. Before that application was filed, on September 30, 2014, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe met with ETP to express concerns about the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) and fears of water contamination. Though the company, now known as Energy Transfer, had re-routed a river crossing to protect the state capital of Bismarck against oil spills, it apparently turned a deaf ear to the Tribe’s objections.

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Tribe Says Army Corps Stonewalling On Dakota Access Pipeline Report, Oil Spill Risk

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is defending its claim that the Dakota Access pipeline has no significant environmental impact, but it issued only a brief summary of its court-ordered reassessment while keeping the full analysis confidential. The delay in releasing the full report, including crucial details about potential oil spills, has incensed the Standing Rock Tribe, whose reservation sits a half-mile downstream from where the pipeline crosses the Missouri River. The tribe said the Army Corps is stonewalling, and it said it will continue to oppose the pipeline. Meanwhile, oil continues to flow through the pipeline two years after opponents set up a desperate encampment to try to block the project. In June 2017, a federal judge ordered the Corps to reassess the potential environmental harm posed by the pipeline,

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U.S. Army Corps Releases Decision On The Dakota Access Pipeline, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Responds

Mike Faith, Jr., Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, issued this statement: “The Army Corps’ decision to rubberstamp its illegal and flawed permit for DAPL will not stand. “A federal judge declared the DAPL permits to be illegal, and ordered the Corps to take a fresh look at the risks of an oil spill and the impacts to the Tribe and its Treaty rights. That is not what the Army Corps did. Instead, we got a cynical and one-sided document designed to paper over mistakes, not address the Tribe’s legitimate concerns. “The Tribe has worked in good faith every step of the way to develop technical and cultural information to help the Corps fully understand the consequences of permitting this pipeline. They took our hard work and threw it in the trash.

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Trump Administration Delays Dakota Access Pipeline Decision Again

The Trump administration is once again delaying a revised decision on the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. In a status report filed in federal court on Tuesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it needed until August 31 to complete its work on the final portion of the $3.8 billion project. The agency is reviewing information submitted by tribal opponents and Energy Transfer Partners, the firm behind the pipeline, government attorneys said.”The Corps is currently evaluating that information as part of the remand process and therefore requires additional time—to and including August 31, 2018—to complete the remand process,” the filing stated. The agency originally had promised a decision by the end of this week.

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The Dakota Access Pipeline Protest Sparked Indigenous Pipeline Resistance

A couple summers ago, Alexander Good Cane Milk was a high school dropout, working at an Arby’s in South Dakota, just outside the Yankton Sioux Reservation. Life was going nowhere, and it had been that way as long as he could remember. “I just thought, you know, there’s more to life to this,” he said. “I can’t just pay bills and die.” But one day, after another shift at a dead-end job, he got a ride home from a friend who told him about Standing Rock — where thousands of people camped and protested at the end of 2016 to fight construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline. After that conversation with his friend, Alexander Good Cane Milk quit his job, said goodbye to his girlfriend, and drove up to the protest camp, just outside the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.

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Standing Rock: Dakota Access Pipeline Leak Technology Can’t Detect All Spills

Nine months after oil starting flowing through the Dakota Access pipeline, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe continues to fight the controversial project, which passes under the Missouri River just upstream from their water supply. In a 313-page report submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the tribe challenged the adequacy of leak detection technology used by pipeline company Energy Transfer Partners. The tribe also questioned the company’s worst-case spill estimate and faulted Energy Transfer Partners for failing to provide a detailed emergency response plan to the tribe showing how the company would respond to an oil spill. “We wanted to show how and what we are still fighting here,” said Doug Crow Ghost, water resources director for the Standing Rock Tribe.

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