This will probably be the top story coming out of the Bakken this week, when I post the top stories for the week tonight or sometime over the weekend.
I am more than a little surprised that this news item was hard to find. It is a huge story and yet it received almost no coverage.
So, again, here it is, from indianz.com, the headline regarding DAPL, posted July 18, 2017: Trump administration officially rescinds pro-treaty rights legal opinion.
Now remember, the story is being posted at an anti-DAPL "news site":
The Trump administration has quietly killed a legal opinion that tribes were using to fight the Dakota Access Pipeline.I'm sure one can spin the story a gazillion different ways but the headline and the lede seem to make things fairly clear where this "lawsuit" stands. Again, a huge "thank you" to the reader who sent me the link.
On February 6, the Department of the Interior put a "temporary suspension" on the M-37038 opinion. A day later, the Trump team approved the final portion of the pipeline over the objections of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.
Both tribes had relied on M-37038 -- which was issued by the Obama administration -- in their legal battle against the controversial Dakota Access crude oil pipeline. One of the key findings in the opinion was that the final portion in North Dakota impacts their treaty rights and that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers "must consider" those rights before moving forward.
"Since the tribes retain rights associated with Lake Oahe, the Corps must consider the possible impacts of its DAPL permitting decisions on these reserved hunting, fishing, and water rights," the 35-page opinion stated.
And even though a federal judge concluded that the Army Corps in fact failed to fully consider those rights, the "acting" Solicitor of the Interior rescinded M-37038 earlier this month. A July 7 memo said the opinion offers little value in light of the ongoing lawsuit.