Andrew Follett, Energy and Environment Reporter
A forestry company filed a civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) lawsuit against Greenpeace Tuesday for misrepresenting the company’s environmental record to raise funds and promote its agenda.
Greenpeace knowingly and deliberately made false claims about the company while fundraising, and fabricated evidence of Resolute’s alleged environmental malfeasance, according to the forestry and paper company Resolute Forest Products. RICO is an anti-mafia law designed to combat organized crime.
“‘Greenpeace’ is a global fraud,” states the 124-page legal complaint. “For years, this international network of environmental groups collectively calling themselves ‘Greenpeace’ has fraudulently induced people throughout the United States and the world to donate millions of dollars based on materially false and misleading claims about its purported environmental purpose and its ‘campaigns’ against targeted companies. Maximizing donations, not saving the environment, is Greenpeace’s true objective.”
Resolute alleges Greenpeace outright fabricated and digitally modified photos to damage the company and increase fundraising efforts. It accuses the environmental group of being “consistently based on sensational misinformation untethered to facts or science, but crafted instead to induce strong emotions and, thereby, donations.”
Greenpeace has ironically repeatedly urged the federal government to investigate oil companies and organizations that dispute the risks of global warming using the exact same RICO legislation. Specifically, Greenpeace’s media officer called upon the Department of Justice to undertake a “broad” investigation to “look into the role of other fossil fuel companies, trade associations, and think tanks in sowing doubt about the risks of climate change.”
Greenpeace and other environmental activists met behind closed doors in January to coordinate how to best get government prosecutors to go after ExxonMobil for allegedly misleading the public about global warming, according to documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal in April.
Three state attorneys general launched investigations into Exxon at the behest of Greenpeace and other environmental activist groups since November. The attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands sent a subpoena to the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a libertarian think tank, in April. The AGs are basing their investigations on reports from InsideClimate News and Columbia University claiming Exxon knew about the dangers of global warming for decades while funding groups skeptical of warming. Both groups are financed by left-wing foundations looking to ban oil and other conventional sources of energy.
Resolute filed a defamation claim against Greenpeace in January.