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

  • Posted on: 17 July 2019
  • By: Connor Gibson

Updated September 10, 2019. See Full Report: State Bills to Criminalize Peaceful Protest of Oil & Gas "Critical Infrastructure"

2020 Ky Bill Request 201

  • Pre-filed August 29, 2019

ALEC Legislators:

Sponsor Sen. Jim Gooch is a confirmed ALEC KY legislator, according to ALEC membership lists publised by Documented in August, 2019.

2019 KY SB 238

  • Died in Senate after referral to Natural Resources & Energy Committee on March 5, 2019
  • Passed House on February 26, 2019
  • Introduced on February 5, 2019

ICNL Analysis:

Would create new potential criminal and civil penalties for protests around oil or gas pipelines and other infrastructure facilities. The bill expands the definition of “key infrastructure assets" to include “national gas or petroleum pipelines.” Encompassed facilities and properties designated “key infrastructure assets” are not limited to areas that are fenced off or posted by “no entry” signs. Under the bill, a person who “intentionally… vandalizes, defaces… or impedes or inhibits” key infrastructure is guilty of “trespass upon key infrastructure assets in the first degree.” It is unclear whether a protest that “impeded” access to a pipeline by blocking a road, or one that “inhibited” the operation of a pipeline by blocking pipeline construction or repair equipment, would fall under this definition. The offense is categorized as a Class D felony, punishable by up to five years in prison. The bill also provides that an individual convicted of the offense may be civilly liable for “any damages to personal or real property while trespassing.” Finally, the bill provides that a person or “entity” that “compensates or remunerates a person for trespassing” may be held liable for damages, as well.

ALEC Legislators:

Sponsor Sen. Jim Gooch is a confirmed ALEC KY legislator, according to ALEC membership lists publised by Documented in August, 2019.

Oil & Gas Lobbying:

SB 238 was supported by the Consumer Energy Alliance, an oil industry front group representing dozens of oil, gas, coal, and utility companies and trade associations. Examples of Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) members include the follow companies that have advocated for anti-pipeline-protest bills in other states:

  • American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM - see AFPM member companies)
  • American Gas Association (AGA - see AGA member companies)
  • Association of Electric Companies of Texas (see members listed on page for Texas Oil & Gas Infrastructure anti-protest bills)
  • Association of Oil Pipelines (AOPL)
    • Members include BP, Chevron, Colonial Pipeline (co-owned by Koch Industries, Shell, and others), Enbridge, Energy Transfer Partners, ExxonMobil, Flint Hills Resources (Koch Industries), Koch Pipeline Company, Kinder Morgan, Magellan Midstream, Marathon Pipe Line, OneOK, Phillips66, Shell, TransCanada, Valero, and Williams.
  • BP
  • Cabot Oil & Gas
  • CenterPoint Energy
  • Cheniere Energy
  • Chevron
  • Dominion Resources
  • Edison Electric Institute (EEI - see EEI member companies)
  • Energy Transfer Partners
  • EOG Resources
  • ExxonMobil
  • Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA)
  • PennEast Pipeline LLC (co-owned by Enbridge)
  • Phillips66
  • Shell
  • Spectra Energy (Enbridge)
  • Williams
  • Xcel Energy