The news is interesting enough, as Christopher Matthews reports it in the Wall Street Journal, that Energy Transfer Partners, which is the Dakota Access Pipeline company, is suing Greenpeace under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Greenpeace’s response, however, is nothing if not revealing:
Greenpeace USA General Counsel Tom Wetterer said in a statement that the suit was “not designed to seek justice, but to silence free speech through expensive, time-consuming litigation. This has now become a pattern of harassment by corporate bullies.”
Once could certainly dispute the characterization that Greenpeace is entirely, or even mostly, about “free speech,” but even if it were, the complaint is essentially that the company is stealing one of the Left’s signature moves. How many projects have been delayed or canceled because environmentalist groups have sued to impose costs on those behind them? How many people on the right have battled through the investigations and lawsuits that inspired the coining of the phrase “the process is the punishment”?
No doubt, we’re in dangerous territory if organizing against projects can be litigated as if it were a criminal enterprise, but this is the world that progressives have brought about, and the rules can’t only cut in one direction.