Construction Resumes on Dakota Access Pipeline After Trump Administration Grants Easement

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Construction on the Dakota Access oil pipeline resumed early Thursday, less than 24 hours after the government granted a final easement allowing for completion of the disputed project.

Native American protestors and their supporters are confronted by security during a demonstration against work being done for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) oil pipeline, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, Sept. 3, 2016. (Credit: Robyn Beck / AFP / Getty Images)

Native American protestors and their supporters are confronted by security during a demonstration against work being done for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) oil pipeline, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, Sept. 3, 2016. (Credit: Robyn Beck / AFP / Getty Images)

Despite months of protests led by tribal groups and an expanded environmental review ordered in the final days of the Obama administration, the project is racing ahead at the urging of President Trump.

Four days after he was sworn into office, Trump, who has vowed to expand fossil fuel production and roll back environmental regulations, encouraged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to abandon the review ordered under Obama. On Tuesday, the Corps announced that it had done so. The next day, it granted the easement, which allows construction across Corps land and a dammed section of the Missouri River.

The company building the pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, said late Wednesday that it had “received all federal authorizations necessary to proceed expeditiously to complete construction of the pipeline.” The company, based in Texas, said it expects to have in hand $2.6 billion in loans for the project “within the next several days” and for the pipeline to be operational no later than June.

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