Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Billionaire Behind Dakota Access Pipeline 'Underestimated' the Power of Social Media

  • Energy Transfer CEO Kelcy Warren says he fell into a ‘mess’
  • Warren also telegraphs future merger of ETE-ETP entities
Campers prepare for the deadline to leave the Oceti Sakowin protest camp in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on Feb. 22, 2017.

Campers prepare for the deadline to leave the Oceti Sakowin protest camp in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on Feb. 22, 2017.

Photographer: Stephen Yang/Getty Images

Billionaire Kelcy Warren, who faced months of protests over the Dakota Access oil pipeline, said his company followed every law and still fell into a “mess.”

Warren “underestimated the power of social media” during the standoff with environmental and Native American-rights activists, he said on a call with analysts Thursday. The Energy Transfer Partners LP chief executive officer was surprised that people were able to spread messages -- including falsehoods -- so widely and quickly over the Internet and “get away with it.”