Brian McDaniel

Aspire to Inspire

Kelcy Warren is a billionaire who, through his company Energy Transfer Partners, is currently engaged in a drawn-out battle over the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Originally planned to be built on top of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s most precious water supply, this $3.8 billion project had stirred up controversy before it even started.

In response to the Sioux protests, Kelcy Warren made several public attempts to appease them, including an offer to reroute the pipeline elsewhere. However, these offers were insufficient for many Sioux tribe members and activists.

On September 3rd, 2016, a federal judge was called in to hear arguments from both sides in a lawsuit filed by the tribe opposing construction on their sacred burial grounds. The judge ruled in favor of Energy Transfer Partners. While this is not a permanent victory for Kelcy Warren, it puts him and his company one step closer to continuing work on this controversial project.

With this in mind, it is clear that a person dealing with this much public scrutiny and opposition must surely be an influential leader. However, the Sioux and other activists aren’t the only people who want to see Kelcy removed from a position of power.

In January 2014, Richard Averitte, a former employee of Energy Transfer Partners and several other companies owned by Kelcy, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his part in an insider trading scandal. Averitte used information he had gained about the locations of oil pipelines to make over $1 million in illegal stock trades. According to him, he was trying to make a few bucks and not damage the company. Even so, no one was particularly shocked when Kelcy Warren was convicted of giving his employee Averitte insider information.

It would seem that Richard Averitte’s sentence of 10 years in prison is long enough for his crimes, but might there be more to this story than meets the eye?

According to former Energy Transfer Partners employee Jason Ravnsborg, Warren has been paid over 500 million dollars for allowing his employees and other contractors access to restricted areas and areas that are not supposed to be accessible. See this page for related information.


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