Friday afternoon, both sides in the battle over the Dakota Pipeline got a victory. First U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg denied the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's request for an injunction stopping the building of the oil pipeline.
Then, shortly after the ruling, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of the Interior halted pipeline construction in order to get more input from the tribe. Now, Energy Transfer Partners, the Dallas-based company behind the pipeline and Native American protesters from around the country who've gathered to push back against the pipeline are at something of an impasse. Here's what you need to know.
1. The pipeline runs from northern North Dakota to central Illinois. If built, it will be 1,172 miles long and cost $3.8 billion. The pipeline would carry 500,000 barrels of crude a day through South Dakota and Iowa, eventually hooking up with an existing pipeline in Illinois. It's being built in response to a series of train derailments transporting oil south from the Bakken.
2. North Dakota's Standing Sioux sued Energy Transfer Partners to stop the pipeline, because they were worried about it's effect on their drinking water. The pipeline would pass under a lake about a mile north of the Standing Sioux reservation. The tribe is worried that it will effect the quality of drinking water downstream, in addition to desecrating several sacred sites.
3. Protesters have gathered at the confluence of the Cannonball and Missouri Rivers in North Dakota. Last weekend the demonstrations turned violent after members of the Standing Sioux said Energy Transfer Partners workers bulldozed several historical sites on private property. A fight broke out between Native American protesters and private security hired by Energy Transfer Partners. Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said six people were bitten by guard dogs handled by the private security team and that 30 people were sprayed with pepper spray. The local sheriff's department reported that four security officers and two of the security dogs were injured.
4. Without Energy Transfer Partners, Klyde Warren Park would have a different name, and Mark Cuban might own the Rangers. Energy Transfer Partners' CEO is Kelcy Warren, the Dallas honcho with the huge Preston Hollow estate and a son named Klyde. Worth about $4 billion thanks to the company he founded, Warren paid for the naming rights to the park and named it after his son in 2012. Klyde Warren, at the time of the purchase, was 9 years old.
Warren co-founded Energy Transfer Partners with Ray Davis, who co-owns the Texas Rangers with Bob Simpson. Davis retired from Energy Transfer Partners in 2007 and bought the Rangers three years later, outbidding Mark Cuban in an auction for the club.
5. The Standing Sioux see Friday's call by the feds to halt the pipeline and get more input from tribal leaders when infrastructure projects encroach on tribal land a major win.
“Our voices have been heard,” Archambault said Friday. “The Obama administration has asked tribes to the table to make sure that we have meaningful consultation on infrastructure projects. Native peoples have suffered generations of broken promises and today the federal government said that national reform is needed to better ensure that tribes have a voice on infrastructure projects like this pipeline.”
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