Lawmaker wants pipeline protesters to pay for police, cleanup costs
New pipelines designed to carry Pennsylvania’s shale gas have taken center stage in a controversy over climate change, private property rights, and the nation’s energy future.
Protests have emerged all over the country, including an encampment in Lancaster County, where activists hope to disrupt construction of the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline–an interstate gas transmission line approved by federal regulators earlier this year.
After the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s protest against the Dakota Access oil pipeline last year led to millions of dollars in cleanup and law enforcement costs, Sen. Scott Martin (R- Lancaster) plans to introduce legislation soon that would shied the public from the costs associated with protests, and make the activists pick up the tab.
However, the move raises First Amendment issues and is part of a broader national trend among state legislators to curb or limit protesting.
Friday on WITF’s Smart Talk, we discuss this issue, and a new bill that would preemptively ban local governments in Pennsylvania from imposing bans or fees on plastic bags.