Permian Pipeline Protesters May Face Decade Behind Bars 

Posted: May 24, 2019 by oldbrew in Energy, Legal, News
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Flimsy excuses about ‘saving the climate’ or similar by obstructing lawful work activities won’t pass muster in future, at least in Texas and several other US States. Jail time and financial penalties beckon. Over 40,000 miles of new pipelines are planned in the years ahead. In any case, while the demand for oil and gas is there the supply will go on, one way or another.

If you protest an oil or gas pipeline in Texas, you could face up to 10 years in prison, reports

The bill on the verge of becoming law in Texas would classify civil disobedience against the construction of a pipeline in Texas a third-degree felony, putting it on “the same level of felony as attempted murderers,” according to the Texas Observer, or equivalent to sentences handed down to “drive-by shooters who fail to hit their mark,” as Bloomberg put it.

The legislation would elevate pipelines as “critical infrastructure,” classifying them in the same category as power plants and water treatment facilities.

But it would also include projects under construction, going beyond current law, according to the Observer.

Those violating the law – say, community or environmental groups looking to disrupt construction – could face 10 years in prison and also be liable for damages.

The bill in Texas is the latest in a wave of anti-protest bills sweeping state capitols, and they are a reaction by the industry to the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in the summer of 2016 and the decade-long battle over the Keystone XL pipeline.

Similar bills have already passed in North Dakota, South Dakota, Louisiana, Iowa and Oklahoma. They are part of a concerted effort by industry groups and their allies in state capitols. According to the National Lawyers Guild, as of early 2018, there were 58 anti-protest bills moving through the legislatures of 31 states.

Criminalizing protest is seen as a vital step in paving the way for more oil and gas infrastructure.

A lot is at stake. New midstream capital expenditures is expected to hit $791 billion over the next 17 years, according to The Interstate Natural Gas Association of American (INGAA), or about $44 billion per year. That spending will translate into an additional 41,000 miles of pipeline, plus an additional 139,000 miles of gathering lines.

Full report here.

  1. ivan says:

    Congratulations to the law makers for standing up to the environmental bullies and handing out retribution for their damage – it couldn’t happen to a better group of idiots.

  2. oldbrew says:

    Back in the UK…

    Extinction Rebellion: Police to pass ‘every single one’ of 1,100 arrested protesters to prosecutors
    Police in discussions with Home Office over changing public order laws and tougher punishments
    – – –
    Enough is enough. Stay within the law or take the rap.