Energy Transfer Equity, et al, v. Greenpeace, Earth First! et al

At a Glance

Date Filed: 

August 22, 2017

Current Status 

pending in the District Court

Client(s) 

The Earth First! Journal

Case Description 

In 2017, the partial owner of the Dakota Access Pipeline, Energy Transfer Equity (ETE), filed a bizarre and far-fetched lawsuit naming various environmental organizations and "Earth First!" as defendants. Earth First! is not an organization, but a philosophy based on biocentrism, direct action, and not compromising with Earth-destroying corporations when fighting for the environment. Represented by Trump's lawyers, Kasowitz Benson Torres, ETE claims that Earth First! funded a violent terrorist presence at the Standing Rock protests with $500,000 and proceeds from drug sales on the site, and is part of a sprawling conspiracy with Greenpeace and other environmental groups to deceive the public about the environmental risks of pipelines.

CCR represents the Earth First! Journal, who is not named in the complaint, but became involved after ETE, unsurprisingly unable to serve the Earth First! philosophy, mailed the complaint to the address of the Earth First! Journal.

The lawsuit was brought under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act or "RICO," a federal law that allows for criminal penalties or a civil cause of action against ongoing criminal enterprises. It is the second RICO case filed by Trump's lawyers against environmental groups in a concerted effort to silence environmental activism and divert resources from the essential work of fighting to save our planet.

Case Timeline

December 4, 2017
CCR opposes motion for declaration of effective service
December 4, 2017
CCR opposes motion for declaration of effective service
November 28, 2017
Greenpeace, BankTrack move to dismiss complaint
November 28, 2017
Greenpeace, BankTrack move to dismiss complaint
November 11, 2017
Energy Transfer Equity moves for declaration of effective service
November 11, 2017
Energy Transfer Equity moves for declaration of effective service
August 22, 2017
Energy Transfer Equity files complaint
August 22, 2017
Energy Transfer Equity files complaint