MINNESOTA - Oil & Gas "Critical Infrastructure" Anti-Protest Bills
Updated March 16, 2020.
2020 SF 3230:
- Introduced on February 17, 2020, as a companion bill to HF 2966 (below)
2020 HF 2966:
- Introduced February 11, 2020, referred to Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Division.
Would create new civil and criminal liability for protesters on infrastructure property as well as civil liability for any organization or entity that supports them. The bill would make someone who trespasses on property containing a critical public service facility, utility, or pipeline liable for any damages to property that they commit while trespassing. Any person or entity that “knowingly recruits, trains, aids, advises, hires, counsels, [or] conspires with” someone who trespasses or causes damage to property could be held “jointly and severably liable.” If the person trespasses with intent "to significantly impede or inhibit operation" of a covered facility, utility, or pipeline they are guilty of a felony and may be subject to three years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine. The phrase "significantly impede or inhibit" could be construed to encompass peaceful protests that block access to infrastructure, which under Minnesota law is broadly defined to include bus stations and parts of bridges. The broad language used in the joint and severable liability provision could be construed to include aiding a protester by providing them with water or medical assistance
Co-Sponsor Fossil Fuel Funding:
- The co-sponsors of HF 2966 combined $4,605 from oil, gas, electric utility and railroad interests during their political careers
2019 SF 2011:
- Bill is still active in the 2020 legislative regular session. Session resumes on February 11, 2020. Recess began on May 20, 2019.
- Referred to Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Finance and Policy committee after second reading on March 18, 2019
- Introduced March 4, 2019
Would create new potential penalties for protests near pipelines, utilities, and "critical public service facilities." The bill criminalizes trespass onto such properties, including those under construction, as a gross misdemeanor punishable by one year in jail and a $3,000 fine. Trespass “with the intent to disrupt the operation or provision of services” by the pipeline or utility, is a felony under the bill, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The bill also newly provides that a court may order anyone convicted of the above offenses to pay for “the costs and expenses resulting from the crime.”
Industry funding to co-sponsors:
The 11 co-sponsors of SF 2011 (above) and HF 2248 (below) received a total of $24,315 in political contributions from oil, gas, electric utility and railroad companies. Each of these industries is named in the bill's definitions of "critical public service facility," "pipeline" or "utility."
2019 HF 2241:
- Companion to SF 2011, above.
- Bill is still considered active for 2020 legislative regular session. Session resumes on February 11, 2020. Recess began on May 20, 2019.
- Referred to Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Division Committee on March 8, 2019
- Introduced, read, and referred to Ways and Means Committee on March 7, 2019
2 of 6 sponsors are confirmed affiliates of the Council of State Governments:
- Rep. Kurt Daudt was on the 2018 CSG Midwest executive committee
- Rep. Tim Mahoney attended the CSG 2015 natural gas policy workshop
Oil & Gas Lobbying:
In 2017 and 2018, while SF 3463 and HB 3693 were being considered by the MN legislature, a combined $17,473,500 was spent by the following companies:
Enbridge has disclosed $22,960,000 in lobbying expenses from 2007-2018, of which $11.08 million was spent in 2018 alone. Spending totals for 2019 are not yet public.
Koch Industries subsidiaries: $6,780,000 in lobbying expenses from 2007-2018:
- Flint Hills Resources LLC disclosed $380,000 in lobbying expenses in 2018
- Flint Hills Resources LP, owner of the Pine Bend Refinery in Rosemount, MN, dsiclosed $5,920,000 in lobbying expenses from 2007-2017.
- Koch Companies Public Sector disclosed $40,000 in lobbying expenses in 2009 and 2010.
- Koch Pipeline Company disclosed $440,000 in lobbying expenses from 2007-2017. KPC did not report any lobbying activity in 2018.
Minnesota Pipe Line Company--jointly owned by Koch Industries subsidiary Flint Hills Resources, Marathon Petroleum, and Trof, Inc (affiliated with Koch Industries)--disclosed $180,000 in lobbying expenses from 2014-2018.
The American Petroleum Institute disclosed $762,800 in lobbying expenses from 2007-2018, $88,800 of which was spent in 2018. API represents most of the major U.S. oil industry, including Enbridge and Marathon Petroleum (but excluding Koch Industries and Energy Transfer).
The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) reported $40,000 in lobbying expenses in 2018.
Additionally, lobbying expenditures were disclosed by:
The American Chemistry Council disclosed $1,748,000 in lobbying expenses from 2007-2018, $180,000 of which was spent in 2018.
- The ACC represents BP Lubricants, Chevron-Phillips Chemical Co, ExxonMobil Chemical Company, Dow Chemical, DuPont, Huntsman, Occidental Chemical Corp, Marathon Petroleum, Saudi Aramco (Motiva), Shell Chemical Co
- Marathon Petroleum was listed a member of the ACC until 2018, but Marathon senior vice president Ray Brooks is serving on the ACC Board of Directors from January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2019.
Many companies that have lobbied for similar laws in other states have not disclosed recent lobbying expenses in Minnesota, such as Energy Transfer Partners, TransCanada (TC Energy), ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Shell, Valero, and Dow Chemical.
Koch Industries & Marathon Petroleum, and the Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline:
Documents filed with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission by Koch Industries subsidiary Flint Hills Resource said that its Pine Bend refinery "relies exclusively" on the Enbridge pipeline system. Koch's refinery is undergoing a billion dollar in upgrades, in part to handle more petroleum products from the Line 3 expansion.
Marathon Petroleum owns a refinery just southeast of St. Paul Park, MN, fed by oil from the Bakken shale in North Dakota as well as heavy sour crude (tar sands extraction) from Canada.
Koch and Marathon are prominent members of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, and have also recently collaborated on fighting against policies supporting electric vehicles.
2018 SF 3463:
- Vetoed by Governor on May 30, 2018
- Introduced March 15, 2018
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.
Industry funding to co-sponsors:
The 17 co-sponsors of SF 2011 (above) and HF 2248 (below) received a total of $25,285 in political contributions from oil, gas, electric utility and railroad companies. Each of these industries is named in the bill's definitions of "critical public service facility," "pipeline" or "utility."
2018 HB 3693
- Introduced March 12, 2018
Postponed and folded into SF 3463 on May 9, 2018
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.
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.
Media Reports & References:
Winona LaDuke, In praise of good governance — and good relationships, MinnPost, March 13, 2020
Andrew Neef, Multi-Agency Task Force Prepares “Rules of Engagement” For Line 3 Protests, Unicorn Riot, February 11, 2019
Alleen Brown and Will Parrish, How Police, Private Security, and Energy Companies are Preparing for a New Pipeline Standoff, The Intercept, January 30, 2019
Tim Donaghy, Dangerous Pipelines: Enbridge's History of Spills Threatens Minnesota Waters, Greenpeace USA, November 14, 2018
Governor Dayton Vetoes 'Line 3 Fast Track' and 'Guilt by Association' Bills, Stop Line 3 / Honor the Earth, June 1, 2018
Don Davis, MN lawmakers claim a bonding victory as Dayton signs with objections, Hastings Star-Gazette, May 30, 2018
Mike Hughlett, Gov. Mark Dayton vetoes bill that gave Enbridge's new pipeline fast-track approval, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, May 21, 2018
Grace Pastoor, Proposed Minnesota law aims to crack down on protesters, but protesters are protesting, Praire Business Magazine, April 17, 2018
Alleen Brown and Will Parrish, Louisiana and Minnesota Introduce Anti-Protest Bills Amid Fights over Bayou Bridge and Enbridge Pipelines, The Intercept, March 31, 2018
Karla Hult, MN bill to penalize protesters clears hurdle, KARE 11, March 28, 2018
Water is Life Movement: Minnesota groups