July 6, 2020

Collin Rees, collin [at]
Lorne Stockman, lorne [at]

Oil Change International Response to Dakota Access Pipeline Shutdown

Today, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that a key federal permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) fell far short of National Environmental Policy Act guidelines, the permit was being revoked, and the pipeline must cease operations and be emptied of oil by August 5. In response, Collin Rees, Senior Campaigner at Oil Change International, released the following statement: 

“This is a tremendous win for the Indigenous communities who have been leading the fight against Dakota Access for years. Once again, the courts have shown that the Army Corps of Engineers abused its power and the rights of Indigenous peoples and landowners by illegally and erroneously permitting pipelines like Dakota Access. Once again, we see that when we fight, we win.

“The Army Corps and other agencies have issued permits for years that harm communities and the environment and favor fossil fuel interests over the law. Rulings like today’s expose the fact that dozens of fossil fuel infrastructure projects have been built in the last decade that should never have been granted permits. These injustices have been forced upon hundreds of communities nationwide, disproportionately impacting Indigenous communities and communities of color. 

“What’s happened with Dakota Access is happening with the Line 3, Keystone XL, Trans Mountain, and Mountain Valley Pipelines, the Jordan Cove LNG project, and many more. Federal and state agencies can no longer allow the oil and gas industry to run roughshod over the law, the rights of Indigenous communities, and future generations’ right to a stable climate. Financial institutions like banks and insurers can no longer invest in these projects, which are in flagrant violation of human rights and environmental laws at all levels. 

“It is time for our leaders to do their job and protect communities over fossil fuel interests by stopping the expansion of the fossil fuel industry and investing in a just, managed transition.”