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

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

Updated August 2, 2019. See Full Report: State Bills to Criminalize Peaceful Protest of Oil & Gas "Critical Infrastructure"

Ohio 2019 SB 33 

  • Referred to House Public Utilities Committee May 8, 2019
  • Passed in Senate May 1, 2019
  • Introduced February 12, 2019

ICNL analysis:

Would heighten the penalties for protests near oil and gas pipelines and other infrastructure by expanding the definitions of "criminal trespass" and "criminal mischief." Like SB 250, introduced in the 2017-2018 session, SB 33 provides that entering and remaining on marked or fenced-off property that contains a "critical infrastructure facility" is criminal trespass and a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Doing so with the purpose of "tampering with" the facility would constitute aggravated trespass, a third degree felony--punishable by up to ten years in prison and a $20,000 fine. Knowingly, "improperly tampering" with the facility would constitute "criminal mischief," likewise a third degree felony. "Critical infrastructure facility" is expansively defined to encompass oil, gas, electric, water, telecommunications, and railroad facilities among many others. The bill also imposes fines on organizations found guilty of "complicity" in the trespass or mischief offenses, in the amount of ten times the maximum fine that can be imposed on an individual. Ohio law defines "complicity" to include soliciting, procuring, aiding, abetting, or conspiring with another to commit an offense. 

ALEC legislators:

6 of 8 co-sponsors are confirmed OH ALEC affiliate legislators: Primary sponsor Sen. Frank Hoagland Sen. Bill Coley, Sen. Matt Huffman, Sen. Bob Peterson, Sen. Lou Terhar, and Sen. Steve Wilson

Oil & Gas Lobbying:

According to emails obtained by Documented using Ohio public records requests, lobbyists representing the following companies scheduled meetings with Sen. Frank Hoagland, to advocate for SB 250 in 2018, below, and for SB 33, in 2019:

  • Andrew Huffman, whose clients in 2019 include Koch Industries, Duke Energy, and the Ohio Coal Association.
     
  • John Keaton with Duke Energy
     
  • Dave Celona, whose clients in 2019 include Duke Energy and the Ohio Gas Association (OGA members are listed below)
     
  • Jeff Dillon and Micah Derry with Americans for Prosperity (founded, controlled and financed by executives of Koch Industries)
     
  • Doug Schrantz with Gulfport Energy and Michael Wise with McDonald Hopkins, on behalf of Gulfport Energy.
     
  • Ohio Petroleum Council / American Petroleum Institute lobbyists "Chris Zeigler and associate directors Claire and Christina" (see source email)
     
  • Rob Eshenbaugh with Capitol Advocates, on behalf of...
    • American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM)
    • API Ohio (American Petroleum Institute)
    • CSX Transportation
    • Dominion Energy Ohio
    • Duke Energy
    • ExxonMobil (via subsidiary XTO Energy)
    • Marathon Petroleum
    • MarkWest
    • MPLX Energy Logistics (Marathon Petroleum subsidiary)
    • NiSource (via subsidiary Columbia Gas of Ohio)
    • Ohio Chamber of Commerce
    • Ohio Chemistry Technology Council (OCTC)
      • Represents Dow Chemical, DuPont, INEOS, Koch Industries (via subsidiary Georgia-Pacific Chemicals), and Occidental Chemical Co
      • OCTC is the state affiliate of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), which itself represents BP Lubricants, ExxonMobil Chemical Co, Chevron-Phillips Chemical Co, and Shell Chemical Co, among other companies.
    • Ohio Coal Association (see members)
    • Ohio Gas Association
      • Represents CenterPoint Energy, Dominion Resrouces, Duke Energy, Enbridge, Energy Transfer Partners, NiSouce (via subsidiary Columbia Gas of Ohio), TransCanada
      • The OGA is a state affiliate of the American Gas Association, which represents Ameren, Berkshire Hathaway Energy (PacifiCorp, MidAmerican, NV Energy), Black Hills Corp, CenterPoint, Cheniere, Chevron-Phillips Chemical Co, Dominion Energy, DTE Energy, Duke Energy, Enbridge, Entergy, EQT, Exelon, Kinder Morgan, MDU Resources, NiSource, PG&E, and dozens of other gas distributors and utility companies.

 

And, Mark Roberts with Rover Pipeline LLC (owned by Energy Transfer Partners) was referred to Senator Hoagland to speak about a "Rover issue" in emails from 2018. It is unclear if SB 250 was discussed.
 

OHIO 2018 SB 250:

  • Introduced January 24, 2018
  • Referred to Senate Judiciary committee on Feb. 28, 2018

ICNL analysis:

Would heighten the penalties for protests near oil and gas pipelines and other infrastructure by expanding the definitions of "criminal trespass" and "criminal mischief." Entering and remaining on marked or fenced-off property that contains a "critical infrastructure facility" would be criminal trespass under the bill and could be charged as a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Doing so with the purpose of tampering with or harming the facility would constitute aggravated trespass, a third degree felony; knowingly tampering with the facility would constitute "criminal mischief" and a first degree felony--punishable by up to ten years in prison and a $20,000 fine. "Critical infrastructure facility" is expansively defined to encompass oil, gas, electric, water, telecommunications, and railroad facilities among many others. The bill also imposes fines on organizations found to be complicit in the trespass or mischief offenses, and imposes civil liability for damage caused by trespass on a critical infrastructure facility.

ALEC legislators:

10 of 11 co-sponsors are confirmed OH ALEC affiliate legislators: Primary sponsor Sen. Frank Hoagland, Sen. Kevin Bacon, Sen. Bill Coley, Sen. John Eklund, Sen. Bob Hackett, Sen. Matt Huffman, Sen. Robert McColley, Sen. Bob Peterson, Sen. Lou Terhar, and Sen. Steve Wilson.

Oil & Gas Campaign Contributions:

Co-sponsors received $58,725 from oil & gas companies and employees.

Media Reports & References

Editorial, Senate Bill 33 labeling some types of trespass a felony threatens Ohioans’ rights, Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 12, 2019

Editorial, Senate Bill 250 limiting free-speech rights in Ohio is unneeded and pernicious, Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 2, 2018

Alleen Brown, Ohio and Iowa are the Latest of Eight States to Consider Anti-Protest Bills Aimed at Pipeline Opponents, The Intercept, February 2, 2018

Water is Life Movement: Rover Pipeline

Range Resources signed up to be a foundation shipper on the Rover pipeline soon after ETP announced the project.

Water is Life Movement: Utica-Marcellus Pipeline

Water is Life Movement: Nexus Pipeline