Obama’s Last Stand - WSJ:
"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Sunday delivered a symbolic victory to the environmental left by denying a permit to complete the 1,200-mile Dakota Access oil pipeline.
The political obstruction illustrates why it’s so hard to build anything in America these days.
Construction is almost complete on the Dakota Access, which aims to transport a half million barrels of oil each day from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota to Illinois for delivery to refiners on the East and Gulf coasts.
About 99% of the pipeline doesn’t require federal permitting because it traverses private lands.
But the Corps must sign off on an easement to drill under Lake Oahe that dams the Missouri River.
After an exhaustive consultation with Native American tribes, the Corps in July issued an environmental assessment of “no significant impact.”
Construction is unlikely to harm tribal totems because the Dakota Access would parallel an existing gas pipeline.
The route has been modified 140 times in North Dakota to avoid upsetting sacred cultural resources.
After largely refusing to engage in the Corps’s review, the Standing Rock Sioux sued.
A federal court in September rejected the tribe’s claims, only to be overruled by the Obama Administration, which ordered a temporary suspension to work around Lake Oahe.
Although the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in October refused to enjoin construction on the pipeline, the Corps has maintained its administrative injunction.
...Energy Transfer devised the least intrusive route to expedite permitting but it still got caught between the Standing Rock tribe and no-fossil-fuels greens who have turned the Dakota Access into a Battle of the Alamo.
If Mr. Trump wants to build more infrastructure, a top-to-bottom renovation of permitting regulations is a good place to start."