Oil could be flowing this week through the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota even as opponents continue fighting the project. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled over the weekend against the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe’s request for an emergency injunction against the flow of oil.
It echoed a similar ruling by a lower court earlier in March. The tribe continues to argue the flow of oil will be harmful to its religious beliefs. Their legal argument is based on Religious Freedom Restoration Act claims. Lawyers say the oil flowing under Lake Oahe, a dammed section of the Missouri River would make the water impure for Lakota sacraments.
The weekend decision means pipeline activities can continue uninterrupted while the appeal moves forward.