According to High Country News, oil is expected to flow beneath the Missouri River, through the Dakota Access Pipeline, as early as this week.
A District of Columbia court has yet to release its ruling related to the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux’s claims that the Army Corp of Engineers violated environmental, historic-preservation and religious-freedom laws in its approval of the pipeline.
One of the arguments is that the presence of the pipeline beneath Lake Oahe (Missouri River lake) desecrates the water, making it useless for religious ceremonies. They say this violates the Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Past attempts to use invoke RFRA by the tribes have not been successful, although it did work out for Hobby Lobby.
Word is that President Trump will approve the Keystone XL permit soon. There are significant issues now, though, related to whether the pipeline is needed any longer, including Canada’s new plans to transport the tar sands product to Canadian ports, diminished long term availability of tar sands product, and the prohibitive cost of tar sands mining with oil prices so low. One of the ridiculous things about tar sands mining is that it takes almost as much energy to extract the oil and that oil will end up generating.
The environmental movement is preparing for future action.