TGG provided expert testimony on behalf of the Standing Rock Sioux and the Cheyenne River Sioux in the legal proceedings related to the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Represented by Earthjustice, the Tribes have waged a long-term legal battle to stop the pipeline, in parallel with the historic protests of the pipeline in North Dakota. Since 2016, the Tribes have argued that the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) should deny DAPL permits to cross the Missouri River and undertake a full environmental review. In late 2016, the Obama administration supported the Tribes’ position, and USACE committed to a full environmental review. Days after his inauguration in January 2017, US President Donald Trump signed an executive memorandum to grant the final permits and expedite the construction process.
Background: The Trans Mountain Expansion Project has been one of the most controversial crude oil pipeline projects in Canadian history. Since 2013, it has been the target of numerous legal challenges, intense public protests and two major regulatory reviews at Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB). In 2013, Kinder Morgan filed an application with the NEB to expand the capacity of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline, which transports up to 300,000 barrels per day from Alberta through British Columbia (BC) and Washington State to refineries and ports on the West Coast. The C$7.4 billion expansion (estimated at C$12.6 billion in late 2020) would more than triple the capacity of the existing pipeline (to 890,000 barrels per day). The increased capacity would be provided by a second line, roughly parallel to the existing pipeline. This second line would be largely used to transport more tar sands dilbit for export markets (US West Coast and Asia).