Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) filed a lawsuit against Greenpeace and other environmental groups on Tuesday accusing them of launching an “ecoterrorism” campaign to block the Dakota Access oil pipeline object of several months of opposition from indigenous and environmental groups.
The pipeline operator claims that Greenpeace, Earth First and other organizations have been involved in “terrorist acts” in soliciting donations and contravening pipeline construction activities, thereby undermining “business and personal relationships.”
According to ETP, the actions of these groups and their negative advertisements against the company, the sister company Energy Transfer Equity and other companies have caused damage in the billions of dollars.
For his part, Greenpeace’s US branch lawyer, Tom Wettere, said the suit, filed in the US, was “an abuse of the justice system to silence legitimate advocacy.”
In May, the $4.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline began interstate crude deliveries, but a US federal court of appeal ordered engineers in June to revise its environmental assessment of the pipeline, paving the way for a possible future suspension of operations.
In a 231-page document, ETP accuses Greenpeace and groups such as Bank Track and the Bold Alliance of “media show making” in opposition to the Dakota Access project.
The company claims that environmentalists contacted the Standing Rock Sioux Nation , one of the most visible elements of the fight against the pipeline , and used it to fight the project.
Still according to ETP, the groups “cynically dispatched radical and violent eco-terrorists to the protesters, and directly financed their activities, in addition to publicly asking their supporters to do the same.”
ETP is represented by the law firm Kasowitz Benson Torres and Friedman, whose founding partner Marc Kasowitz is the lawyer for US President Donald Trump.
At Greenpeace, it is noted that this is the second time that Kasowitz’s firm is attacking the group.
Last year, the firm represented Resolute Forest Products in a defamation suit launched by the company against Greenpeace.
Mr. Wetterer argues that “this complaint reuses allegations and ludicrous legal claims”.