Pipeline Protest Groups Sued, Potential $1 Billion Damages

By on September 11, 2017

September 11, 2017

Claiming damages that could approach $1 billion, Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) has sued Greenpeace and other protest groups in federal court in North Dakota. Energy Partners is the company that is building the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, which goes through Dakota Indian land where it crosses the Missouri River and was the locus of months of occupation and protest last winter. The company alleges that the groups interfered with its business, facilitated terrorism, incited violence, and violated racketeering and defamation laws,” according to an article in Insurance Journal. ETP alleges that construction disruptions alone have cost the company at least $300 million, and it is requesting triple damages.  The Truthout article notes that the law firm representing ETP, Kasowitz, Benson & Torres, has close ties to President Trump. according, with name partner Marc Kasowitz  on the team representing the president in the Russia-collusion investigations, and says the CEO of ETP, Kelcy Warren, donated $100,000 to the Trump Victory Fund Trump invested “up to $1 million,” A Greenpeace attorney, quoted in an article in Truthout calls this action a classic SLAPP suit (“Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation”) . Proponents of the pipeline, which is now operational, argued among other things that it would reduce the uses of rail cars for oil transport, and that pipelines are safer than the trains. The pipeline is now operational, and according to an article in Inside Energy, it has indeed dramatically reduced the use of rail for oil.

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