Dakota pipeline project paused. What does this mean for the oil industry?
A victory for the Standing Rock Sioux and environmentalists came Friday, as the government called for a pause in work on the Dakota Access pipeline. The announcement came shortly after a federal judge had ruled that construction could continue.
For the time being, there will be no construction “within 20 miles east or west of Lake Oahe,” according to a joint statement by the Department of Justice, the Department of the Interior and the Army. Once the confluence of the Missouri and Cannonball rivers, which the Sioux consider sacred, Lake Oahe is an important cultural site. The statement directs the Army Corps of Engineers to look at – and possibly reassess – the decisions which led to the pipeline’s route under Lake Oahe.
The pipeline protest has brought together the Standing Rock Sioux and environmentalists, and inspired a government discussion about how to incorporate the views of native American tribes on infrastructure projects. Energized by the pause, activists in Cannon Ball, N. D., have vowed to continue fighting. But not everyone is rejoicing. The government’s decision to pause the pipeline may have changed the game for those in the oil industry.