Jus­tice Dept. to pros­e­cute dam­age-caus­ing pro­test­ers

Las Vegas Review-Journal (Sunday) - - WASHINGTON REPORT -

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.

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