U.S. Federal Court Dismisses $900 Million Pipeline Company Lawsuit Against Greenpeace

Greenpeace activists during a protest in Paris at the COP21 United Nations climate change conference in November.

Today, the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota issued a landmark dismissal [1] of all claims against all defendants in the USD$900 million case against Greenpeace and others brought by Energy Transfer [2].

The decision to dismiss this lawsuit, which alleged Greenpeace engaged in racketeering and defamation, sends a strong message to all companies trying to silence their critics with baseless legal claims.

Greenpeace USA General Counsel Tom Wetterer said in response to the decision:

“Justice has been served. This is a huge victory not just for Greenpeace but for anyone and everyone who has ever stood up against powerful corporate interests. Today’s decision to dismiss Energy Transfer’s baseless lawsuit against Greenpeace and others sends a clear message to companies trying to muzzle civil society that corporate overreach will not be tolerated. It is also a check on corporate efforts to silence dissent.

“We are confident that this decision will set a precedent that deters Energy Transfer and other corporations from abusing the legal system in their quest to bully those who speak truth to power. Greenpeace will continue to fight for the ability of all people to advocate for human rights and the planet.”

The decision to dismiss this case comes in a key moment of growing resistance to pipelines around the world. In just the past year more than 400,000 people around the globe have supported Greenpeace’s demand that leading global banks not fund Energy Transfer and tar sands pipelines in light of the threats they pose to human rights, Indigenous rights, and the climate.

The racketeering case dismissed today is the second case filed by Trump’s go-to law firm, Kasowitz Benson Torres, against Greenpeace on behalf of corporate interests. In 2016, Resolute Forests Products filed a strikingly similar strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) for CAD$300 million through Kasowitz [3]. Last month, Judge Tigar dismissed the RICO, and most of the other, claims against all Greenpeace entities. In 2013, the logging giant filed a separate defamation case against Greenpeace Canada and two staff members in Ontario. This case is still pending and Greenpeace Canada continues to vigorously fight the remaining claims.


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Articles by: Greenpeace

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