The Latest: Activist pleads not guilty in pipeline protest

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The Latest on the Dakota Access oil pipeline. (all times local):

3:45 p.m.

An American Indian activist accused of inciting a riot during protests against the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota has pleaded not guilty.

Chase Iron Eyes entered his plea Tuesday. He could face up to five years in prison if convicted on the felony charge. He also faces a misdemeanor count of criminal trespass.

Iron Eyes and 73 others were arrested Feb. 1 after setting up teepees on land that authorities say is owned by pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners. Protesters maintain they were peacefully assembling on land they believe rightfully belongs to American Indians.

Iron Eyes has said he doesn't dispute his involvement but that he wasn't the leader of the effort and had no authority to stop it.


11:30 a.m.

Industry groups say the imminent flow of oil through the Dakota Access pipeline is good news for energy and infrastructure.

Texas-based developer Energy Transfer Partners said Monday that it's placed oil in the pipe under a Missouri River reservoir that was the final piece of construction. The pipeline should be fully operational in about three weeks, moving oil from North Dakota's Bakken oil fields to a distribution point in Illinois.

North Dakota Petroleum Council President Ron Ness says the pipeline will "have a significant impact on Bakken transportation going forward."

The MAIN Coalition is made up of agriculture, business and labor entities that benefit from Midwest infrastructure projects. Spokesman Craig Stevens says the pipeline is "a public triumph" for the Trump administration and its commitment to energy and economic development.


11:10 a.m.

The American Indian tribes leading the legal fight against the Dakota Access pipeline say they aren't giving up after oil was pumped into a controversial section of the line running under their water source.

Harold Frazier is chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux. He says the tribes believe they ultimately will convince a federal judge to shut down the pipeline.

Environmental law nonprofit Earthjustice is representing the Standing Rock Sioux in the tribes' lawsuit. Spokesman Phillip Ellis says "hope remains" for a favorable outcome.

Texas-based developer Energy Transfer Partners said Monday it had pumped oil into the section of the pipeline under a Missouri River reservoir. The pipeline should be fully operational in about three weeks.

Tribes maintain the pipeline threatens their cultural sites, water supply and religious practices. ETP disputes that assertion.


12:10 a.m.

The developer of the Dakota Access pipeline says oil has been placed in the pipe under a Missouri River reservoir and the full line will be in service soon.

Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners made the announcement in a court filing Monday.

The move comes despite months of protests and the objections of two American Indian tribes who say a rupture could threaten their water supply and cultural sites. The Sioux tribes still have an unresolved lawsuit seeking to stop the project.

The company says the four-state, 1,200-mile (1930-kilometer) pipeline is safe. The U.S. government gave ETP permission to complete the project after Republican President Donald Trump took office.

The protests were centered in North Dakota.

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