Energy Transfer Partners, owner of the Dakota Access pipeline, has filed a $300 million Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) lawsuit against Greenpeace and other environmental groups for their activism against the long-contested North Dakota-to-Illinois project.
In its 187-page complaint, Energy Transfer alleges that “putative not-for-profits and rogue eco-terrorist groups who employ patterns of criminal activity and campaigns of misinformation to target legitimate companies and industries with fabricated environmental claims and other purported misconduct” caused the company to lose “billions of dollars.”
Greenpeace, though, sees the lawsuit as an act of “bullying” and in the category of “Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation,” or SLAPP.
“This is the second consecutive year Donald Trump’s go-to attorneys at the Kasowitz law firm have filed a meritless lawsuit against Greenpeace,” Greenpeace USA General Counsel Tom Wetterer said in a press statement. “They are apparently trying to market themselves as corporate mercenaries willing to abuse the legal system to silence legitimate advocacy work. This has now become a pattern of harassment by corporate bullies, with Trump’s attorneys leading the way.”
Main image: People protesting the Dakota Access pipeline march past San Francisco City Hall in November 2016. Credit: Pax Ahimsa Gethen, CC BY-SA 4.0
Of course this is a SLAPP. Imagine it was against some organization with very little assets, it would be game over, maybe even prison as an example.
And you have to love (not) the bit about misinformation. I wonder what that would be – the potential of every single mile of pipeline to spring a leak and pollute precious land bases or water ways? That risk is hardly fake – we know corporations have audits done by friendly, bias groups; we know that corporations cut corners when it comes to pipeline maintenance; we know that corporate decisions are based on profits not protections; we know that these same corporations are lobbying government at every level to bend or eliminate regulations which were already practically bare minimum and not well enforced by the prior EPA which is not a shell of its former self.
This is blood chilling and only the beginning.
It is no wonder there is bullying on this level when the President himself is a megalomaniacal bully.