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After Initial Rebuke, Energy Transfer Clarifies Stance on Dakota Access Ruling

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   |    Thursday,July 09,2020

UPDATE - July 9, 2020

Energy Transfer LP has provided further clarification on its statement regarding the Dakota Access ruling.

Late on July 8, 2020 the company said: "We would like to provide further clarification around news reports out today regarding the operations of the Dakota Access Pipeline. To be clear, we have never suggested that we would defy a court order. Rather, DAPL is seeking appropriate relief from that order through the established legal process."

Earlier Developments

Following a court order mandating that its Dakota Access Pipeline to be shut down / emptied within 30 days, Energy Transfer LP announced that it will not adhere to the request, according to a report by Bloomberg.

Business relating to Energy Transfer's Dakota Access Pipeline accounts for a large percentage (~42%) of the company's yearly revenues. If the pipeline were taken out of service, the company would see a sizable impact to its financials.

The ruling comes in response to a lawsuit filed by Native American and environmental groups, including the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which has opposed the pipeline since it was first announced in 2014.

The ruling calls for an environmental review of the Dakota Access Pipeline and, as a result, requires that the line be shut down and emptied by August 5, 2020, a timeline .

In an emailed statement, Energy Transfer spokeswoman Vicki Granado said: "We are not shutting in the line....we believe exceeded his authority and does not have the jurisdiction to shut down the pipeline or stop the flow of crude oil.”

The company's full statement is available below.


Energy Transfer's Full Statement

"We believe that the ruling issued this morning from Judge Boasberg is not supported by the law or the facts of the case. Furthermore, we believe that Judge Boasberg has exceeded his authority in ordering the shutdown of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which has been safely operating for more than three years. We will be immediately pursuing all available legal and administrative processes and are confident that once the law and full record are fully considered Dakota Access Pipeline will not be shut down and that oil will continue to flow.

"We intend to immediately file a motion to stay this decision and if not granted, to pursue a stay and expedited appeal with the Court of Appeals. We also believe that the Army Corps of Engineers has the ultimate jurisdiction over this matter, pursuant to its regulations governing Corps property.

"We will continue to cooperate with the Corps through their process as we believe, as does the Corps per their filing with the District Court, that the proper procedures were followed in granting the original easement and that their work will reconfirm that the easement across federally owned lands in North Dakota was properly granted.

"The economic implications of the Judge’s order are too big to ignore and we will do all we can to ensure its continued operation. The Dakota Access Pipeline is the only direct pipeline from North Dakota to the distribution hub in Patoka, Illinois, from where this domestically produced Bakken-produced crude oil is transported to refineries throughout the Midwest and the Gulf Coast. Billions of dollars in tax and royalty revenue will be lost by state, local and tribal governments in North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois. Farmers will suffer as crude transportation will move to rail, displacing corn, wheat and soy crops that would normally be moved to market. Ironically, the counties along these rail lines will face increased environmental risks due to the increased amount of crude oil travelling by rail.

"This pipeline is the safest, most environmentally responsible method for moving North Dakota’s crude oil to refining markets around the country. Shutting down this critical piece of infrastructure would throw our country’s crude supply system out of balance, negatively impact several significant industries, inflict more damage on an already struggling economy, and jeopardize our national security.

"This was an ill-thought-out decision by the Court that should be quickly remedied."

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