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

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

Updated February 18, 2020. 

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

2020 IL SB 3484

  • Introduced, read, and referred to Senate Assignments committee on February 14, 2020

2019 IL HB 1633

  • Tabled in Senate on May 29, 2019. Bill could be taken back off the "table" in 2020 legislative session.
  • Passed in House on April 11, 2019
  • Introduced on Jan. 31, 2019

ICNL analysis:

Would heighten the penalties for protests near oil and gas pipelines and other infrastructure that involve trespassing onto infrastructure property. Under the bill, knowingly trespassing to a critical infrastructure facility is a Class 4 felony, punishable by $1,000 and 3 years in prison. Aggravated criminal trespass to a critical infrastructure facility--defined as trespass with intent to vandalize, deface, or tamper with the facility--is a Class 3 felony punishable by $10,000 and 10 years in prison. The bill would also create a broadly-defined new offense, “criminal damage to a critical infrastructure facility,” which includes knowingly vandalizing, defacing, or tampering with critical infrastructure and does not require actual damage. The offense is a Class 1 felony, punishable by $100,000 and 15 years in prison. An individual convicted of any of the offenses is also civilly liable for money damages, court costs, and attorney’s fees to the owner of the property, for any damage sustained. An organization found to have conspired with an individual to commit any of the offenses is liable for a fine of at least ten times the minimum fine authorized for the individual. The bill newly defines “critical infrastructure facility” under Illinois law to include a range of oil, gas, electric, water, telecommunications, and railroad facilities that are fenced off or clearly posted. 

ALEC legislators:

At least 1 of 36 co-sponsors are confirmed IL ALEC affiliates: Rep. Joe Sosnowski.

CSG legislators:

At least 4 of 36 co-sponsors are known CSG affiliates:

  • Rep. Marcus Evans (D-33) was a member of the 2017-2018 CSG Midwest Criminal Justice and Public Safety committee, and attended a 2014 CSG policy academy
  • Rep. Kelly Burke (D-36) is a member of CSG's Great Lakes Leadership Committee as of 2019, in addition to the years 2017, 2016, and 2014. Burke was a member of the CSG Midwest BIILD steering committee for 2015-2017 and remains a member for 2017-2019 . Burke participated in the BIILD program in 2013.
  • Rep. Frances Ann Hurley (D-35) participated in the CSG BIILD program in 2016.
  • Rep. André Thapedi (D-32) was on the CSG Midwest Executive Council in 2018.

Industry Lobbying:

According to witness slips filed with the Illinois legislature, businesses advocating for HB 1633 include:

Oil, gas & Petrochemicals:

  • American Petroleum Institute (API) and the Illinois Petroleum Council

API represents most of the major U.S. oil industry, including:

  • BP
  • Chevron
  • ConocoPhillips
  • Devon Energy
  • Dow Chemical
  • Enbridge
  • ExxonMobil
  • Marathon Petroleum
  • Magellan Midstream
  • Phillips66
  • Shell
  • TransCanada (aka TC Energy)
  • Williams Companies
  • note: neither Koch Industries nor its subsidiaries are listed as members of the API

Electric Utilities:

  • See Chemical Industry Council of Illinois members, below

Coal & Mining:

  • Illinois Coal Association

Other Industry:

  • Chemical Industry Council of Illinois (CICI)

CICI represents:

  • Ameren
  • BP Energy
  • Citgo
  • Dow Chemical
  • DuPont
  • Enbridge
  • Exelon
  • ExxonMobil Chemical Co
  • Flint Hills Resources (Koch Industries)
  • Huntsman
  • Kinder Morgan Liquid Terminals
  • Marathon Petroleum
  • NRG
  • Occidental Chemical Corp
  • Olin Corp

CICI is the state affiliate of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), which represents BP Lubricants, ExxonMobil Chemical Co, Chevron-Phillips Chemical Co, and Shell Chemical Co, among other companies.

2019 IL SB 1304

  • This bill was concurrent with HB 1633, which passed in the Illinois House, but not the Senate. See details above
  • Introduced Feb. 7, 2019
  • Assigned to Senate Criminal Law Committee's subcommittee on CLEAR compliance on Feb. 20, 2019

ALEC legislators:

The only sponsor is not confirmed IL ALEC affiliate.

CSG legislators:

The only sponsor appears to be an affiliate of the CSG:

  • Sen. Michael E. Hastings (D-19) was the sponsor of an anti-Cyber Bullying bill that became a model policy adopted by CSG's Shared State Legislation committee in 2016. Hastings wrote an article about his legislation in the CSG Midwest newsletter in April, 2014.

Media Reports & References

Rebecca Stoner, Why are Unions Joining Conservative Groups to Protect Pipelines?, Pacific Standard, May 31, 2019

J.C. Kibbey, Big Oil Bill Pushes Extreme Criminal Penalties in Illinois, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), May 21, 2019

Maggie Ellinger-Locke, ALEC Wants to Make Protest Illegal in Illinois, TruthOut / Greenpeace USA, May 10, 2019

Nicholas Kusnetz, More States Crack Down on Pipeline Protesters, Including Supporters Who Aren’t Even on the Scene, InsideClimate News, March 28, 2019

Steve Horn, Bills Criminalizing Pipeline Protest Arise in Statehouses Nationwide, The Real News Network, February 22, 2019

Alleen Brown, Will Parrish and Alice Speri, Dakota Access-Style Policing Moves to Pennsylvannia's Mariner East 2 Pipeline, The Intercept, June 21, 2017


Correction: a previous version of this page erroneously listed Energy Transfer Partners as a member of the American Petroleum Institute (API).