A federal appeals court on Tuesday put on hold a judge's order that the Dakota Access Pipeline be shut down and emptied of oil by Aug. 5, though the move is not the final decision on whether the line will be shuttered while an extensive environmental review is conducted.
The temporary halt was issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. It will remain in place until the court rules on whether pipeline developer Energy Transfer can keep the oil flowing while the court decides its appeal of U.S. District Judge James Boasberg's July 6 shutdown order.
The "administrative stay" issued Tuesday "should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits," the order said.
Pipeline supporter GAIN Coalition, which includes businesses, trade associations and labor groups, hailed the court's order as a victory, calling it "a key step forward in reaffirming the Dakota Access Pipeline's critical role in and American energy infrastructure network." U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., another supporter, called the temporary halt "common sense."
Earthjustice attorney Jan Hasselman, who represents the Standing Rock Sioux, said the move is typical and not significant.