Dakota Access developer sues 'rogue eco-terrorist groups'
Energy Transfer Partners filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against Greenpeace and other organizations, claiming they incited “rogue eco-terrorist groups” to spread false and misleading information about the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The lawsuit is filed in U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota by attorneys who work for the same New York firm that represents President Donald Trump.
The lawsuit alleges that Greenpeace International, BankTrack, Earth First! and others conspired to inflict damage on the pipeline developer and advance their own agendas.
The complaint alleges the organizations incited, funded and facilitated crimes and acts of terrorism to fraudulently induce donations, interfere with pipeline construction and damage the pipeline developer’s business and financial relationships.
The 187-page complaint claims the actions, including incidents that occurred during the months-long protest in North Dakota, violated federal and state racketeering statutes and constituted defamation and tortious interference with business.
The lawsuit says Energy Transfer Partners lost at least $300 million due to the tactics, but maintains the full extent of damage can only be determined at trial. The company is seeking triple damages, which could approach $1 billion, as well as punitive damages.
Greenpeace USA general counsel Tom Wetterer said in a statement Tuesday the lawsuit is “not designed to seek justice, but to silence free speech through expensive, time-consuming litigation.”