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Dakota Access developer files amended complaint against Greenpeace

BISMARCK—Energy Transfer Partners filed an amended complaint Monday, Aug. 6, in its lawsuit seeking as much as $1 billion in damages from Greenpeace and other organizations that opposed the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The pipeline developer alleges Greenpeace and others led a misinformation campaign intended to incite violence, property destruction and criminal sabotage designed to stop the construction of Dakota Access.

Energy Transfer accuses Greenpeace of engaging in criminal racketeering, defamation, tortious interference with business, criminal trespass and civil conspiracy.

The new complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota also names individual activists as defendants and includes information related to opposition of other projects, such as the Bayou Bridge Pipeline in Louisiana.

Monday's court filing came after U.S. District Judge Billy Roy Wilson ruled that the previous complaint from Energy Transfer Partners with accusations against Greenpeace was too vague and broad. Wilson ordered the company to file a new complaint with concise and direct allegations against each of the defendants.

The pipeline developer accuses Greenpeace and associated organizations of raising money and organizing donation drives to support violent protests and attacks to interfere with pipeline construction.

The new complaint also outlines claims against individuals associated with the Red Warrior Camp, a group that organized among the protest camps near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, and Mississippi Stand, including activists who used a blow torch to damage pipeline facilities in Iowa.

In a statement Monday, Greenpeace USA attorney Deepa Padmanabha said the new complaint from Energy Transfer Partners shows that the company's real intent is "to bully any opposition into silence."

"We believe in peaceful activism and will not be intimidated by this behavior; we have a right to raise our collective voice to protect communities and the planet," wrote Padmanabha, deputy general counsel for Greenpeace USA.

Last month, Judge Wilson dismissed the pipeline developer's claims against BankTrack, a Dutch nonprofit that wrote letters to banks urging them to stop financing Dakota Access. Wilson wrote that BankTrack's efforts to stop banks from financing the pipeline were not "reasonably or plausibly" related to violent tactics used to prevent the project's construction.