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25 Okt 2018

Mark Hand, ThinkProgress

Commentary: Fossil fuel cos. push for tougher anti-protest laws to silence environmental activists opposing oil pipeline projects

"With politicians on its side, pipeline company ratchets up intimidation campaign", 22 Oct 2018

...In a new report, the environmental group Greenpeace points out that ETP’s [Energy Transfer Partners]...stance against public protest is occurring as state and federal officials push anti-protest bills.  Several of these bills target individuals protesting infrastructure in places where ETP is currently building pipelines.  Legislative efforts...have been lopsided in favor of the fossil fuel industry, specifically bills supported by fossil fuel companies and designed to punish pipeline protesters.  No bills have been introduced to protect the rights of anti-fossil activists engaging in protests...In response to the Greenpeace report, ETP said, “We all have the right to protest and voice our opinions, but we don’t have the right to break the law.”  The company noted it has security at its construction sites for the safety of its assets, its employees, and those who live and work in the area...

...State officials and lawmakers have welcomed the company’s plans to build new pipelines.  Residents and property owners, on the other hand, have been treated as second-class citizens...As protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline were winding down, ETP’s proposed Bayou Bridge oil pipeline became a new flash point...A Louisiana measure known as the “critical infrastructure” law...has...been used to arrest more than a dozen protesters opposing ETP’s Bayou Bridge pipeline...A local community says the pipeline would hurt public health and leave them vulnerable in case of emergency...

...Greenpeace report...covered a handful of tactics the company [ETP] has used against individuals and organizations opposing its pipelines, including the use of litigation...Energy Transfer filed its first amended complaint on August 6...ETP expanded its legal attack...to events unrelated to the original allegations...


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