Dakota Access pipeline developer defends racketeering claims

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline says environmental group Greenpeace should be held legally accountable for violating federal racketeering laws.

Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners sued Greenpeace and two other groups for up to $1 billion last year. The company alleges the groups worked to undermine the $3.8 billion pipeline that’s now shipping oil from North Dakota to Illinois.

A federal judge has dismissed the other two groups from the case. Greenpeace also wants to be dismissed. Greenpeace argues that ETP’s claims are “generalized and implausible.” But the company says there’s plentiful evidence of “malicious criminal conduct.”

The company alleges the group disseminated false information about the pipeline to obtain donations and incite unrest, which hurt ETP financially. The company says the group also organized and funded a violent protest faction.

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