The Louisiana Legislature passed a law designating oil and gas pipelines as “critical infrastructure.” The legislation, HB 727, provides for up to 20 years imprisonment for damaging pipelines.
The legislation was written in response to growing fears of sabotage by environmental radicals. These fears have grown since the expansion of protests against pipelines around the country.
There is a growing movement among environmentalists to justify the sabotage of pipelines. The way it works is that some activists actually destroy the pipelines where others justify the destruction.
The American Fuel and Petroleum Manufacturers, a trade association for refining companies, has published a blog on how environmentalists are using this technique to destroy pipelines.
Deep Green Resistance—a global support center for the most violent eco-terrorists on the planet—is a big supporter of the “climate necessity defense” movement.
In their violent manifesto, “Decisive Ecological Warfare,” they describe (and endorse) a not-too-distant future where “well-organized underground militants would make coordinated attacks on energy infrastructure around the world,” while “aboveground activists … push for acceptance and normalization of more militant ad radical tactics where appropriate.”
The aboveground activists “vocally support sabotage when it occurs,” DGR wrote. “They argue that sabotage would not be necessary if civil society would make a reasonable response to social and ecological problems … [T]hey argue that the situation is serious enough to make such action legitimate, even though they have personally chosen a different course.” (Emphasis added.)
And it’s not just rhetoric. Deep Green Resistance is actively involved in the necessity-defense movement.
The world was first introduced to Bucci when he was arrested for blocking construction of the Algonquin pipeline in Montrose, New York in 2015. He and his co-conspirators—collectively known as the “Montrose 9”—committed their crimes in hopes of becoming the first climate activists permitted to use the necessity defense at their trial.
The judge denied their request, found them all guilty of disorderly conduct and sentenced each of them to a 12-month conditional discharge, community service, and fines and fees totaling $350.00. Finding this punishment “very harsh,” Bucci wrote a letter to the judge vowing to “continue our resistance efforts in an even more concerted way — disrupting the fossil fuel industry and perhaps breaking the law whenever necessary.
There have already been instances of pipeline sabotage by environmentalists. In 2017, activists damaged the Dakota Access pipeline in Iowa while it was under construction. In 2016, activists sabotaged pipelines across the country in solidarity with the Standing Rock protests against the Dakota Access pipeline.
The oil and gas industry is a major component of Louisiana’s economy. The industry is also the lifeblood of industrial civilization. The legislature had to act to protect it from sabotage.