CANNON BALL, N.D. (AP) — The company building the $3.8 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline has asked a federal judge’s permission to circumvent President Barack Obama’s administration and move ahead with a disputed section of the project in North Dakota, as opponents held protests across the country against the pipeline.

Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners and a subsidiary asked the court on Tuesday to let them lay pipe under a Missouri River reservoir, a plan the Standing Rock Sioux tribe says threatens its drinking water and cultural sites. The Army Corps of Engineers said Monday it needs more time to study the impact of the plan.

In a statement Tuesday, the company blamed the Obama administration for “political interference” in the pipeline review process.