MINNESOTA - Oil & Gas "Critical Infrastructure" Anti-Protest Bills

  • Posted on: 18 February 2019
  • By: Connor Gibson

Updated Mar 25, 2019. 

See Full Report: State Bills to Criminalize Peaceful Protest of Oil & Gas "Critical Infrastructure"

2018 SF 3463:

  • Introduced March 15, 2018
  • Vetoed by Governor on May 30, 2018

ICLN analysis:

Would have created new civil liability for protesters on infrastructure property, as well as vicarious liability for any individual or organization who supported them. The bill would make someone who trespasses on property containing a "critical public service facility, utility, or pipeline" liable for any damages to persons or property, and any person or entity that "recruits, trains, aids, advises, hires, counsels, or conspires with them" vicariously liable for such damages. Under Minnesota law, a person who trespasses on infrastructure property is guilty of a gross misdemeanor; the bill would make anyone who "recruits, trains, aids, advises, hires, counsels, or conspires with" a trespasser likewise guilty of a gross misdemeanor, which is punishable by one year in jail and a $3,000 fine. If the person trespasses "with the intent to significantly disrupt the operation of or the provision of services" by the facility, the bill would make anyone who "recruits, trains, aids, advises, hires, counsels, or conspires with" the trespasser guilty of a felony and subject to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. The phrase "significantly disrupt" could be construed to encompass peaceful protests that block access to infrastructure, for instance, which under Minnesota law is broadly defined to include bus stations and bridges. The broad terms used in the vicarious liability provisions could even be construed to include aiding a protester by providing them with water or medical assistance. 

ALEC legislators:

1 of 5 sponsors is a confirmed MN ALEC affiliated legislator: Sen. Bruce Anderson

CSG legislators:

1 of 5 sponsors is a confirmed affiliates of the Council of State Governments: Sen. Tom Bakk is a member of CSG Midwest’s Great Lakes Legislative Caucus as of 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Oil & Gas Campaign Contributions:

Co-sponsors received $1,500 from oil & gas companies and employees

2018 HB 3693

  • Introduced March 12, 2018
  • Postponed and folded into SF 3463 on May 9, 2018

ALEC legislators:

Primary sponsor Dennis Smith (R-34B) is not a confirmed ALEC member. 6 of 12 co-sponsors are confirmed MN ALEC affiliated legislators: Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-58B), Sen. John Howe (R-28), Rep. Kathy Lohmer (R-39B), Rep. Bob Loonan (R-55A), Rep. Cindy Pugh (R-33B), and Rep. Mark Zerwas (R-30A),

  • Rep. Dan Fabian is unconfirmed as an ALEC member, but has repeatedly authored and introduced legislation very similar to ALEC models.

CSG legislators:

7 of 12 sponsors are confirmed affiliates of CSG:

  • Rep. Dan Fabian is on the 2017-2018 CSG Midwest Canada Relations Committee
  • Rep. Nick Zerwas is on the 2017-2018 CSG Midwest Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee
    • Zerwas talked to CSG about a prior bill to restrict protests on roads
  • Rep. Bob Loonan participated in the 2016 CSG BILLD program
  • Rep. Pat Garofalo was a board member of CSG as of June 30, 2016, according to CSG’s most recent IRS tax filing. Garofalo has presented at natural gas policy workshops hosted by CSG in 2015 and 2016. Garofalo is a former chair of CSG’s Energy and Environment Committee, and participated in a CSG nuclear waste storage program in 2016.
  • Rep. Jeff Howe participated in the 2016 CSG BILLD program
  • Rep. Cindy Pugh is member of CSG Midwest’s Great Lakes Legislative Caucus as of 2016, 2017, and 2018.
  • Rep. Dale Lueck is member of CSG Midwest’s Great Lakes Legislative Caucus as of 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Oil & Gas Lobbying:

Enbridge has disclosed $11,880,000 in lobbying expenses from 2007-2017, of which $5.34 million was spent in 2017 alone. Spending totals for 2018 are not yet public.

Koch Indutries susidiaries: $6,400,000 in lobbying expenses from 2007-2017

Marathon Petroleum and a subsidiary disclosed a combined $443,000 in lobbying expenses from 2007-2017. Spending totals for 2018 are not yet public.

Minnesota Pipe Line Company--jointly owned by Koch Industries subsidiary Flint Hills Resources, Marathon Petroleum, and Trof, Inc (affiliated with Koch Industries)--disclosed $160,000 in lobbying expenses from 2014-2017. Spending totals for 2018 are not yet public.

Koch and Marathon have significant financial stake in Line 3:

According to an Enbridge executive, Koch's giant Pine Bend refinery "relies exclusively" on Line 3, via the Koch/Marathon Minnesota Pipe Line Company pipelines. Koch's refinery is undergoing a billion dollar upgrade to handle more petroleum products from the Line 3 expansion. 

Koch and Marathon have also recently collaborated on fighting against policies supporting electric vehicles.

More Information:

Honor the Earth

Water is Life Movement: Minnesota groups

Greenpeace USA: Dangerous Pipelines: Enbridge's History of Spills Threatens Minnesota Waters, Tim Donaghy, November 14, 2018

The Intercept: How Police, Private Security, and Energy Companies are Preparing for a New Pipeline Standoff, Will Parrish and Alleen Brown, January 30, 2019

Unicorn Riot: Multi-Agency Task Force Prepares “Rules of Engagement” For Line 3 Protests, Andrew Neef, February 11, 2019