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The Latest: US taxpayers may be on hook for protest costs

Posted March 16

— The Latest on the Dakota Access pipeline (all times local):

11:30 a.m.

North Dakota officials appear poised to go after the U.S. government — and thus U.S. taxpayers — to recoup more than $38 million in state expenses related to protests against the Dakota Access pipeline.

A longstanding offer from project developer Energy Transfer Partners to pay up remains on the table, but it's unclear whether the state will accept it.

Republican Gov. Doug Burgum's spokesman says no decisions have been made on seeking reimbursement from the company that's worth billions. But he says the state has been talking to federal officials about reimbursement.

Dustin Gawrylow (GAV'-ur-loh) with the North Dakota Watchdog Network questions whether the financial responsibility should fall on taxpayers. He says the state should take the offered money.

Protest leaders say they think state officials already are too cozy with ETP.

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9:40 a.m.

Tribes suing to stop the Dakota Access pipeline are asking a federal appeals court to head off the imminent flow of oil.

The move comes after U.S. District Judge James Boasberg rejected a similar request Tuesday and a motion last week to halt the final stage of construction for the $3.8 billion pipeline to move North Dakota oil to Illinois.

The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux appealed that decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Attorney Nicole Ducheneaux (DOO'-shuh-noh) on Wednesday asked the appeals court for an emergency order preventing oil through the pipeline until the appeal is resolved.

Texas-based pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners is wrapping up construction and says it could be moving oil as early as Monday.

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