By February 14, 2020 Read More →

WV House of Delegates passes bill that takes aim at pipeline protesters

By Erin Beck Register-Herald 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill on Thursday that is modeled after legislation in other states aimed at pipeline protesters.

The legislation would increase penalties for people who engage in acts of civil disobedience in response to industrial activity.

House Bill 4615, called the “Critical infrastructure Protection Act” and sponsored by Delegate John Kelly, R-Wood, states that any person who “willfully and knowingly” trespasses on property contacting a “critical infrastructure” facility, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and punished by a fine of not less than $250 nor more than $1,000, or confined in jail not less than 30 days nor more than one year, or both fined and confined.

If protesters intend to “willfully damage, destroy, vandalize, deface, tamper with equipment, or impede or inhibit operations of the critical infrastructure facility,” they are guilty of a felony and could be fined not less than $500 nor more than $3,000, or imprisoned in a state correctional facility for not less than one nor more than three years, or both fined and imprisoned. …

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