Boasberg, an Obama appointee, initially ordered the company to shut down the Dakota Access pipeline and empty it of oil by Aug. 5. His decision would keep the pipeline offline until the Army Corps could review its approval for the project to pass beneath Lake Oahe, which is about a half-mile from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s reservation in North Dakota.
Energy Transfer said this week that it would pursue “all available legal and administrative processes” to ensure that Dakota Access, which has been in operation for three years, can continue carrying oil.
The company told Boasberg that shutting down and draining the pipeline would take 86 to 101 days.
Boasberg said he is still open to considering Energy Transfer’s logistical concerns to the extent possible.
“Dakota Access, mindful of the running clock, told the Court that it preferred an immediate ruling denying the Motion to Stay if the Court was only waiting to try to resolve the logistical and timing issues, rather than the merits,” the judge wrote.
“The Court is thus obliging Dakota Access by issuing this expedited Order, although it remains willing to assist in mediating (or ultimately deciding) any dispute regarding such logistical and timing issues if jurisdictionally permitted to do so.”
Energy Transfer is expected to ask for a stay while it pursues its D.C. Circuit appeal. A temporary emergency stay could reset the clock on when the company needs to act on Boasberg’s order.
Environmental groups challenging Energy Transfer’s plan to nearly double the capacity of Dakota Access asked state regulators at the Illinois Commerce Commission yesterday to take “administrative notice” of the D.C. court’s ruling.
Reporter Mike Soraghan contributed.