#EnergyTransferPartners, the corporation behind the #DakotaAccessPipeline, has sued #greenpeaceand other environmental groups for " #ecoterrorism" over their protests against the controversial pipeline.
According to the Dakota Access Pipeline company, environmental groups launched an "eco-terrorism campaign"against the pipeline, and engaged in "acts of #terrorism," including soliciting donations and interfering with construction, damaging its "critical business and financial relationships," Reuters reports.
In a 231-page lawsuit filed Tuesday, ETP claims the protests and negative publicity for the pipeline cost the company millions of dollars. It is seeking triple damages, which could come to $1 billion, along with further punitive damages, the Grand Forks Herald reports. The lawsuit also seeks a court order to prevent the groups from conducting more protests.
The filing accuses the environmental groups, including Banktrack and Earth First, of "violating federal and state racketeering statutes and constituted defamation and tortious interference with business." It also claims the groups were guilty of "manufacturing a media spectacle" over the #northdakotaprotests.
A number of Native American tribes in the Dakotas opposed the pipeline, arguing it would threaten their sacred burial grounds as well as their sources of fresh water.
Beginning in April 2016, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe set up a protest encampment near Lake Oahe on the Missouri River. Over the course of the summer the camp grew to thousands of people.
Protests received #mainstreammediacoverage after ETP bulldozed a section of the land that the Standing Rock documented as a historic, sacred burial site. When protesters entered the area, private security workers hired by ETP used attack dogs, which bit as many as five of the protesters, and fired tear gas. Video of the incident was shared by Democracy Now.
The lawsuit, however, argues accusations of excessive force being used and of sacred land being damaged during construction are simply "a series of false, alarmist, and sensational claims," made by the "rogue eco-terrorist groups." More in comments #nodapl