Justice Dept. to prosecute damage-causing protesters
The U.S. Department of Justice on Friday pledged to prosecute protesters who damage oil pipelines and other energy infrastructure, a move that could escalate tensions between climate activists and the administration of President Donald Trump.
The DOJ said it was committed to vigorously prosecuting those who damage “critical energy infrastructure in violation of federal law.”
Attempts to “damage or shut down” pipelines deprive communities of services and can put lives at risk, cost taxpayers millions of dollars, and threaten the environment, a department official said in a statement.
The statement was in response to a letter sent last month to Attorney General Jeff Sessions by 84 U.S. representatives asking whether domestic terrorism law covers activists who shut oil pipelines in October 2016. The DOJ said it was reviewing the letter.