The Truth About Energy Transfer Partners
by Molly Dorozenski
March 2, 2018
The company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), has filed a lawsuit against Greenpeace and others in a clear attempt to intimidate and silence peaceful protest. Why? They are profoundly threatened by the powerful resistance rising up against pipelines.
Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), has filed a lawsuit against Greenpeace and others in a blatant attempt to intimidate their critics and to silence peaceful protest. It’s an extreme move and shows that they are clearly threatened by the powerful resistance rising up against pipelines.
But, this lawsuit is just the tip of the iceberg. Read on to learn more about ETP’s cozy business and political relationships and intimidation tactics.
Ties to the President
President Trump has in the past invested up to $1million in ETP, and up to $250,000 in Phillips 66 (part-owners of DAPL), according to financial disclosures he made. It’s no surprise that one of his first acts as president was to give the project the green light, overturning Obama’s earlier decision to halt it, since he stood to potentially make a personal profit from the project
Furthermore, ETP’s CEO Kelcy Warren donated over $160,000 directly to Trump’s presidential campaign and to the Republican National Committee.
And the law firm that is representing ETP in its outrageous SLAPP suit against Greenpeace and others, is none other than Kasowitz Benson Torres, the law firm that has represented Trump on numerous occasions in the past.
These connections seem more than coincidences and the fact that ETP is suing is just another example of a crackdown on dissent in Trump’s America.
ETP’s PR firm instructed 3 state governors to demand approval of DAPL
Last year, the governors of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa sent a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers demanding approval of DAPL. The first draft of this letter was prepared by the PR firm LS2Group, which was contracted by ETP – and the letter that was eventually sent was barely edited from its original draft.
The LS2Group, has multiple employees registered to lobby for ETP and has been lobbying for the Dakota Access pipeline since at least 2014. The firm has particularly strong ties to former Governor Branstad of Iowa, who pushed the Governors of South and North Dakota to sign on to the LS2 letter.
This shows that ETP is benefitting from a cozy relationship that exists between the oil industry and state governments in the region.
Private security officers paid by ETP attacked Water Protectors…
As the protests at Standing Rock grew, ETP sent in private security contractors who used pepper spray and attack dogs on peaceful Water Protectors and pipeline opponents.
…and that was just the beginning
ETP hired TigerSwan, a private security firm, to oversee protection of the pipeline project. But as it turns out, TigerSwan is not just any private security firm. It originated as a US military contractor charged with executing the war on terror, and after being contracted by ETP turned its military-style counterterrorism tactics against the movement opposing DAPL.
ETP later paid TigerSwan for information that was used to manufacture a meritless conspiracy lawsuit against environmental groups. TigerSwan did this by infiltrating the protest camps and activist circles and gathering information via fake social media pages. Perhaps unsurprisingly for a former military contractor, yet no less astonishing, is the language they used in internal documents to describe the peaceful Water Protectors: calling them “terrorists” or “jihadists”, and building intelligence that would allow them to “eliminate” the movement.
Documents have also revealed that TigerSwan collaborated closely with police in North Dakota and other states. TigerSwan shared information with law enforcement, met with them to discuss evidence “collected for prosecution,” and built “person of interest” files as part of their ongoing efforts to attempt to stop the Water Protectors.
It’s clear that ETP will stop at nothing to ensure that its dirty pipelines are built. They have proven they have no limits on what tactics they will employ or who they will go after. But the movement against pipelines won’t be silenced by corporate bullies. We will win this lawsuit and we will win the fight against pipelines.
Join the fight: https://act.greenpeace.org/page/16230/petition/1