Response to DoT cracking down on pipeline protests
June 4, 2019
June 4 — In response to the Department of Transportation’s legislative proposal released Monday, which seeks to penalize activists who protest the construction of oil or gas pipeline with 20 year prison sentences, Maggie Ellinger-Locke, Staff Attorney at Greenpeace USA says:
“The Trump administration attempting to stop those speaking out against fossil fuel pipelines is part of an alarming nationwide trend.
“The trend is a reaction to powerful protests against the oil and gas industry, such as the Indigenous-led protests at Standing Rock in North Dakota against the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Keystone XL pipeline from Nebraska to Texas, and protests of the Bayou Bridge pipeline in Louisiana.
“We’ve seen this play out in state legislatures: the oil industry is using their power to push elected officials to criminalize peaceful pipeline protest. Dozens of states are considering anti-protest bills, and some, like Louisiana, have already enacted laws cracking down on protesters.
“The fact that the Trump administration is taking this on and seeking to extend such draconian penalties nationwide is shocking. Indeed, the DOT’s proposed penalties are far more severe than those we have seen offered on the state level that are often patterned after a model bill from the American Legislative Exchange Council and lobbied for by oil and gas industries. This anti-protest legislative trend is gathering steam, and is a growing threat to our constitutional rights.
“Our rights to free speech, assembly, and protest are fundamental freedoms and must be protected. Greenpeace will continue to advocate for a free, fair, just, and healthy democracy that protects the planet and uplifts its peoples.”
Valentina Stackl, Senior Communications Specialist, Greenpeace USA: +1 (734) 276 6260 [email protected]