Tag Archives: Energy Transfer Partners

The disturbing rise of the corporate mercenaries

It’s not too late to rein in these unaccountable armed giants, but we need to act fast

By Felip Daza and Nora Miralles  Published 8-6-2021 by openDemocracy

Pre=deployment training at Tier 1 Group. Photo: T1G/Facebook

When the journalist Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated by agents of the Saudi government in 2018, it caused an international scandal. Now, it turns out that his killers were trained in the US. In June, The New York Times reported that four Saudis involved in the killing had received paramilitary training from Tier 1 Group, a private security company based in Arkansas.

This was no renegade operation, however. Tier 1 Group, whose training had approval from the US State Department, is part of a burgeoning global industry. Corporate mercenaries – or, more properly, private security and military companies – are increasingly taking over functions that were once carried out by states, with grave implications for human rights and democracy worldwide. It’s big business, too: Cerberus Capital Management, the private equity fund that owns Tier 1 Group, also owns a string of arms manufacturers. In April 2010, Cerberus merged with DynCorp International, one of the world’s largest corporate mercenary companies. Continue reading

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Blow to ‘Powerful Corporate Interests’ as Federal Court Throws Out Pipeline Company Lawsuit Against DAPL Water Protectors

Greenpeace lawyer confident that decision will deter other companies “from abusing the legal system in their quest to bully those who speak truth to power.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 2-15-2019

Krystal Two Bulls and other defendants celebrated on Thursday after a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit targeting water protectors who organized against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). (Photo: EarthRights International/Twitter)

In a “landmark” ruling on Thursday, a federal court in North Dakota tossed out a “baseless” case against Greenpeace and other environmental and Indigenous activists who organized protests against the deeply controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), which drew thousands of people to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in 2016.

District Judge Billy Roy Wilson dismissed (pdf) all claims against all defendants in a lawsuit brought by fossil fuel giant Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), which sought to hold the water protectors liable under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act for millions of dollars in alleged damages

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Anti-Pipeline Kayaktivists Hit With Felony Charges Under Louisiana’s New ALEC-Inspired Law That Criminalizes Protest

Activists battling the pipeline project say the fossil fuel company’s private security “abducted” the kayakers before they were charged by police

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 8-12-2018

Three kayaktivists who oppose the Bayou Bridge Pipeline in Louisiana were charged with felonies Thursday under a new state law that criminalizes peaceful protests of fossil fuel projects. (Photo: L’eau Est La Vie/Facebook)

Three kayaktivists who oppose construction of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline—the tail end of Energy Transfer Partners’ Dakota Access Pipeline—are reportedly the first people to be charged with felonies under a new Louisiana law that, like a model bill crafted by the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), criminalizes peaceful protests of fossil fuel projects.

The collective of activists fighting against the pipeline—who have created the L’eau Est La Vie (Water Is Life) floating resistance camp—said on Twitter Thursday that three kayakers were “abducted” by the pipeline company’s private security while boating through public waterways, and then arrested. Continue reading

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DAPL Company Hired War on Terror Contractors to Suppress Native Uprising

Leaked docs reveal the collusion between local police forces, pipeline company, and defense contractors as they executed ‘military-style counterterrorism measures’ to suppress the water protectors

By Lauren McCauley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-27-2017

The Morton County Sheriff’s Department deployed a tank and sprayed peaceful protesters with a water cannon amid below-freezing temperatures on November 20, 2016. (Photo: Dark Sevier/flickr/cc)

The years-long, Indigenous-led fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) briefly captured the nation’s attention last fall as images of peaceful resisters being sprayed with water canons and surrounded by police in tanks and other military-grade equipment were spread widely, fueling global outrage and a fierce protest movement against the oil pipeline.

Now that the pipeline is operational and already leaking, internal documents obtained by The Intercept and reported on Saturday reveal the deep collusion between local police forces, the pipeline company, and defense contractors as they executed “military-style counterterrorism measures” to suppress the water protectors. Continue reading

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The ‘Told You So’ Everyone Was Dreading—First DAPL Spill Reported

“We have always said it’s not if, but when, pipelines leak”

By Deirdre Fulton, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-10-2017

At the Native Nations march in Washington, D.C. in March. (Photo: United Church of Christ/Jessie Palatucci)

Throughout the battle over the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL), Indigenous campaigners and their allies repeatedly warned it was not a question of if, but when a breach would occur.

Now, before the pipeline is even fully operational, those warnings have come to fruition.

The Associated Press reports Wednesday:

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US Government invalidates position in desperation to evict Standing Rock protestors

Pitted against 3 government agencies, the water protectors at Standing Rock brace for even harsher treatment

Written by Carol Benedict

Photo: @zap seattle/Twitter

Photo: @zap seattle/Twitter

There are three separate agencies involved in the stand-off at Standing Rock. Each of these agencies has mounted their own defenses to try to force the completion of a pipe line that does not have the full permitting and authorization required by law. Energy Transfer Partners and Dakota Access Pipe Line are both operating against a direct order of President Obama’s to stop within 20 miles of the lake and have stated they do not intend to stop until this pipeline is completed.

Earlier in the controversy, DAPL hired private security forces from outside the state of North Dakota. They arrived with attack dogs and other means of attacking the protesters, but had no permits or authorization within the state. DAPL allowed them to operate anyway, deciding that they could operate outside the law.

On November 25, the US Army Corps of Engineers sent a letter to the tribes at Sacred Stone Camp, informing them that as of December 5, their presence would be subject to prosecution. The reasons behind this decision was the escalating violence at the action site, even though the violence is coming only from the law enforcement authorities.

The US government has maintained that the land in question is federal land: public land they are authorized to control under their jurisdiction.

The water protectors believe this same spot of land was granted them in an 1851 treaty and they have never ceded that land.

Morton County officials have also sought the assistance from the US Border Patrol (a branch of the Department of Homeland Security) in the militarized police presence at the Standing Rock encampments. To date, the tactics used against the protesters include water cannons, grenades, rubber bullets and other means of crowd control usually deployed in urban settings. Their actions have caused enough concern that the United Nations is now investigating these actions as human rights violations.

Morton County and the state of North Dakota have effectively removed all arguments from the Army Corps of Engineers claim of federal land by involving the US Border Patrol.

US Border Control can only be activated within 100 miles of what is recognized as a border to another country or sovereign nation. By involving Border Patrol, the state and county are both officially recognizing the sovereignty rights of the water protectors, yet feel empowered to evict them from their own land under this premise.

In order for supporters to come to the Sacred Stone encampments, they must agree to bringing no weapons, alcohol or drugs of any kind. The camp, now at over 400 people, lives in prayer and peace with conversations between tribes, between generations and between indigenous and non-indigenous people. These are Americans, who believe they have as much a right to clean water and land rights as you and I.

Think about it.

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‘They’re Trying to Poison Our Future,’ Resistance Heats Up to Stop ‘Black Snake’ From Slithering Through Midwest

Native tribes, landowners, environmental activists trying to stop pipeline that rivals Keystone XL in length

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 8-12-2016

Sioux youth from the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota rallied with supporters in Union Square [in New York] after running 2,000 miles across the United States to protest the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. (Photo and caption: Joe Catron/flickr/cc))

Sioux youth from the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota rallied with supporters in Union Square [in New York] after running 2,000 miles across the United States to protest the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. (Photo and caption: Joe Catron/flickr/cc))

Resistance against a new Bakken crude pipeline stepped up this week with the arrest of 12 people on Thursday near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota.

“They’re trying to lay a pipe across our water. They’re trying to poison our future,” said one of the people taking part in the action.

YouTube user UrbanNativeEra posted this video of the event: Continue reading

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