Court dismisses Dakota Access company’s lawsuit against greens

A federal court late Thursday dismissed a lawsuit in which the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline accused environmentalists of improperly trying to block the line’s construction.

The District Court for the District of North Dakota ruled that Energy Transfer Partners hadn’t sufficiently proven its claims that the actions of Greenpeace and individual activists constituted violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.

The company filed the lawsuit in 2017, after months of high-profile protests by indigenous rights and environmental activists trying to block the oil pipeline’s construction in North Dakota, near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. The protests attracted international attention.

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While then-President Obama delayed approving the final piece of Dakota Access, President TrumpDonald TrumpMcAuliffe takes tougher stance on Democrats in Washington Democrats troll Trump over Virginia governor's race Tom Glavine, Ric Flair, Doug Flutie to join Trump for Herschel Walker event MORE cleared it soon after taking office in January 2017.

Greenpeace cheered the dismissal.

“Justice has been served,” Tom Wetterer, general counsel to Greenpeace USA, said in a statement.

“This is a huge victory not just for Greenpeace but for anyone and everyone who has ever stood up against powerful corporate interests,” he said. “Today’s decision to dismiss Energy Transfer's baseless lawsuit against Greenpeace and others sends a clear message to companies trying to muzzle civil society that corporate overreach will not be tolerated. It is also a check on corporate efforts to silence dissent.”