Oil Companies Persuade States to Make Pipeline Protests a Felony

Aug. 19, 2019, 10:23 AM

After protesters disrupted construction of an oil pipeline in North Dakota by chaining themselves to construction equipment and pitching tents along the route, oil and chemical companies found a way to keep it from happening again.

They made it a crime.

The companies, including Koch Industries Inc., Marathon Petroleum Corp. and Energy Transfer Partners LP—whose Dakota Access project in North Dakota was targeted three years ago—lobbied state legislatures to effectively outlaw demonstrations near pipelines, chemical plants and other infrastructure. Nine states have gone along so far, in some cases classifying the activities as felonies. More are considering measures.

The lobbying ...

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