BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The company that built the Dakota Access oil pipeline says its ownership of agricultural land in North Dakota doesn't violate state law, and that the law is unconstitutional anyway.
Dakota Access attorneys want a judge to dismiss a complaint North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem (STEHN'-juhm) filed July 3. They also want Stenehjem prevented from enforcing state law that bars companies from owning farmland.
Dakota Access bought the ranchland in 2016 in an area where thousands of pipeline opponents gathered to protest, to protect workers and help law officers. But a deal with the state allowing the purchase expired, and Stenehjem sued.
Dakota Access argues the land is leased for farming, the company didn't break the law with the purchase, and the law violates several clauses of the U.S. Constitution.