Judge refuses to plug DAPL oil flow

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – A federal judge has refused to head off the imminent flow of oil in the disputed Dakota Access pipeline.

Judge James Boasberg on Tuesday denied a request by the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux to stop oil from flowing while they appeal his earlier decision allowing pipeline construction to finish.

Boasberg says a “critical factor'' is the tribes' appeal is unlikely to succeed. They say the pipeline violates their religious rights because it's running under a lake they consider sacred. Boasberg says the argument was made too late and is of questionable merit.

The $3.8 billion pipeline will carry North Dakota oil to Illinois. Texas-based developer Energy Transfer Partners says it could be moving oil as early as Monday. Boasberg says ETP would be “substantially harmed'' by a delay.