Company behind DAPL sues Greenpeace, other environmental groups

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BISMARCK, N.D. - The company that built the Dakota Access Pipeline has filed a lawsuit against Greenpeace and multiple organizations.

Energy Transfer Partners says Greenpeace, Earth First!, BankTrack and others: “manufactured and disseminated materially false and misleading information about Energy Transfer and the Dakota Access Pipeline (“DAPL”) for the purpose of fraudulently inducing donations, interfering with pipeline construction activities and damaging Energy Transfer’s critical business and financial relationships.”

The complaint also says those groups “incited, funded, and facilitated crimes and acts of terrorism to further these objectives. It further alleges claims that these actions violated federal and state racketeering statutes, defamation, and constituted defamation and tortious interference under North Dakota law.”

ETP says the groups are made up of “rogue environmental groups and militant individuals who employ a pattern of criminal activity and a campaign of misinformation for purposes of increasing donations and advancing their political or business agendas.”

ETP also says “In addition to its misinformation campaign, the Enterprise directly and indirectly funded eco-terrorists on the ground in North Dakota. These groups formed their own outlaw camp among peaceful protesters gathered near Lake Oahe, and exploited the peaceful activities of these groups to further the Enterprise’s corrupt agenda by inducing and directing violent and destructive attacks against law enforcement as well as Plaintiffs’ property and personnel. The Enterprise then flagrantly manipulated these “made-for-TV” events to raise more funds for the Enterprise. These terrorist groups also funded their activities and the Enterprise by using donations to fund a lucrative drug trafficking scheme inside the camps.”

In response to Energy Transfer Partners’ filing Tuesday of a lawsuit against Greenpeace and other defendants, Greenpeace USA General Counsel Tom Wetterer said:

“This is the second consecutive year Donald Trump’s go-to attorneys at the Kasowitz law firm have filed a meritless lawsuit against Greenpeace. They are apparently trying to market themselves as corporate mercenaries willing to abuse the legal system to silence legitimate advocacy work. This complaint repackages spurious allegations and legal claims made against Greenpeace by the Kasowitz firm on behalf of Resolute Forest Products in a lawsuit filed in May 2016. It is yet another classic “Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation” (SLAPP), not designed to seek justice, but to silence free speech through expensive, time-consuming litigation. This has now become a pattern of harassment by corporate bullies, with Trump’s attorneys leading the way.”