Federal intervention on oil pipeline project unprecedented

Posted at 2:25 PM, Sep 10, 2016

The federal government's temporary stoppage of an oil pipeline may change the way energy projects are reviewed.

Just minutes after a federal judge denied the Standing Rock Sioux tribe's attempt to halt the construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline Friday, three federal agencies appealed to the pipeline company to "voluntarily pause" work on a segment in North Dakota.

The government says it now is reconsidering its decision on the pipeline and wants input from the tribe.

Troy Eid, a Colorado lawyer who specialized in Indian law, says the action was unprecedented and a "significant setback" for the pipeline's builders. He says historically, tribes have been only consulted on energy infrastructure projects, with the federal government making the actual decisions.

Eid says the Obama administration's action likely changed that.