July 2019, Vol. 246, No. 7

Global News

Texas May Stiffen Penalties for Pipeline Damage

Lawmakers in Texas are considering a bill that would stiffen penalties for damaging or trespassing around oil and gas operations despite opposition from environmental groups who say it would quell peaceful protests and overly criminalize offenses.

The bill would classify any oil or gas pipelines as critical infrastructure, placing them in the same category as power plants and water treatment facilities. The bill would make it a third degree felony to trespass, damage or destroy the facility or impair or interrupt its operations.

“This bill does not impact an entity or group of people’s ability to protest peacefully, what it does do is create a deterrent that says if you act upon those interests, or act upon them detrimental to that critical infrastructure, the consequences are appropriate to the nature of that infrastructure,” state Sen. Brian Birdwell said. P&GJ

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