U.S. court dismisses Energy Transfer Partners lawsuit against Greenpeace

FILE PHOTO: Protesters demonstrate against the Energy Transfer Partners' Dakota Access oil pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, in Los Angeles, California, September 13, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File photo

(Reuters) - A federal court in North Dakota has dismissed a lawsuit from Energy Transfer Partners LP against environmental group Greenpeace, according to a court order on Thursday.

ETP had sued Greenpeace and other environmental groups in 2017, accusing them of racketeering and defamation with the aim of blocking the Dakota Access Pipeline. In the lawsuit, ETP argued that the environmental groups' actions and negative publicity against it, its sister company Energy Transfer Equity LP and other firms caused billions of dollars in damages.

The Dakota Access Pipeline became one of the most bitterly contested energy projects in years as environmental activists and Native American tribes had tried to block the pipeline during a months-long standoff with authorities in North Dakota in 2016.

ETP said it was disappointed by the court order and said it intends to pursue its claims in the “appropriate venue,” without giving further details.

Greenpeace in a statement hailed the dismissal of the lawsuit as a victory and said it sends a signal that “corporate overreach” will not be tolerated.

The case is Energy Transfer Equity LP v. Greenpeace International, 17-cv-173, U.S. District Court, District of North Dakota (Bismark).

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Philip George in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler