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Energy Transfer Equity, LP v. Greenpeace International

ELR Citation: 49 ELR 20025
Nos. 1:17-CV-00173-BRW, (D.N.D., 02/14/2019) (Wilson, J.)

A district court dismissed a lawsuit alleging that protesters disrupted the construction of and damaged a crude oil pipeline, known as the Dakota Access pipeline, that runs from North Dakota to Illinois. The pipeline company argued that environmental groups violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) by engaging in racketeering in an attempt to block construction of the pipeline. But the court concluded the company failed to establish that an enterprise existed, finding that while there was a common purpose among the groups—they all opposed the pipeline—there was no ongoing organization, no continuing unit, and no ascertainable structure distinct from the company's alleged RICO violations. The court therefore granted the groups' motion to dismiss.