Greenpeace USA Report Urges Banks to End Relationship with Energy Transfer Partners

Report cites corporate behavior on human rights, freedom of speech and faulty operations

June 18, 2018

The company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline employs unethical tactics to silence protesters and violate Indigenous rights

Washington, DC, 18 June 2018 Newly released Greenpeace USA report, “Too far, Too Often: Energy Transfer Partners’ Corporate Behavior On Human Rights, Free Speech, and the Environment”, urges banks to end their financial relationship with the company behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.


“Energy Transfer Partners’ practices are destructive for the planet, for communities and for the health of democracy. Whether it’s hiring private security firms that surveil and infiltrate activist groups, advocating for laws that restrict the right to protest, or plowing forward with pipeline projects against the will of Indigenous people and landowners, Energy Transfer Partners shows what happens when corporate power goes unchecked.The company’s projects will continue to be lightning rods for protest and controversy,” said Greenpeace USA Executive Director Annie Leonard.

The report details how Energy Transfer Partners uses bullying SLAPPs (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation)  and aggressive private security firms to intimidate opponents of its project, while lobbying for anti-protest legislation both on its own and likely through groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group that drafts model bills in line with corporate interests. New research reveals the lobbying patterns, campaign donations and financial connections behind the massive legislative effort that ultimately resulted in more than 60 new bills introduced across the country, following the #NoDAPL protests and inspired by legislation drafted by ALEC.

In August 2017, ETP sued Greenpeace entities and others for USD $900 million, using RICO laws to claim that a collection of environmental groups and Indigenous allies constituted a criminal enterprise.

Other examples of ETP’s bad corporate behavior include:

  • Damaging at least 380 sacred and cultural sites along the DAPL pipeline route, as reported by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
  • Working with private security firms like TigerSwan that deployed excessive force and military style counterterrorism tactics against Water Protectors while operating without a license
  • Hiring TigerSwan again to suppress opposition to the Mariner East 2 Pipeline in Pennsylvania
  • Aggressive use of eminent domain proceedings to seize private property
  • An egregious spill record that includes 527 incidents from 2002-2017 across ETP, Sunoco, and their subsidiaries’ pipelines, 67 of which contaminated water resources, fines of more than USD $355 million since 2000, and 146 enforcement actions.

“Despite efforts made by international agencies and financial backers to understand and remedy some of the major ethical and reputational fallouts that occurred during the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, ETP continues its bad behavior – attempting to intimidate anyone who stands up against its pipeline projects,” said Greenpeace Global Finance Pipeline Lead Diana Best. “ETP’s unwillingness or inability to learn the necessary lessons from DAPL should raise concerns among the company’s financial backers who continue to be exposed to the reputational and financial impacts of ETP’s unacceptable practices.”



“Pipelines Fights in North America” Greenpeace Photo Collection:


Cassady Craighill, [email protected], 828-817-3328


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