Energy Transfer Partners LP on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Greenpeace and other environmental groups, accusing them of launching an "eco-terrorism" campaign aimed at blocking the Dakota Access Pipeline, the center of months of opposition by Native American and green groups.
The pipeline operator alleged that Greenpeace, Earth First and other organizations engaged in "acts of terrorism" to solicit donations and interfere with its pipeline construction activities, damaging its "critical business and financial relationships."
ETP said the groups' actions and negative publicity against it, its sister company Energy Transfer Equity LP and other firms caused billions of dollars in damages.
Greenpeace USA General Counsel Tom Wetterer said the company's lawsuit against it and partner groups "abuse the legal system to silence legitimate advocacy work."
The $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline began interstate crude oil delivery in May, although a federal appeals court judge in June ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reconsider its environmental review of the line, opening up the possibility that the line could be shut at a later date.
ETP filed Tuesday's lawsuit in a district court in North Dakota.