For the good of the future of this nation and our world, vote NO on HR 1374. This problematic bill, which purports to increase the safety of critical energy infrastructure, will actually result in the limitation of rights guaranteed by the First Amendment, an escalation of the police state in this nation, and a further widening of the divides ripping us apart from within.
HR 1374 overreaches by lumping the “physical” protection of energy infrastructure in with cybersecurity. We can agree that cyberattacks are a real problem that must be dealt with, and building and protecting infrastructure is vital to a working economy. But oil industry infrastructure is not the same thing as “roads and bridges” or the internet and other digital infrastructure critical to our future and the development of our society.
HR 1374 would put too much money and power in the hands of state governments that can’t be trusted not to abuse both. These laws allow for the persecution — and even the death! — of those brave enough to exercise their First Amendment rights in the face of the increasingly militarized policing this bill would exacerbate.
It should be the federal government’s role to safeguard its most vulnerable communities, not give the green light to states to collude with law enforcement agencies and security contractors to make criminals out of the activists and Native People who seek to preserve a livable planet.
Right now, Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline threatens to carry vast quantities of dirty tar sands oil from Canada through the sacred lands of the Anishinaabe People — without the consent of the vast majority of those people. While it’s laudable that consultation with tribal nations is included in this bill, unfortunately, we know that end runs are often made around that process.
In 2016 and 2017, the Standing Rock Nation’s objections were ignored and the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) was built on unceded treaty lands adjacent to the reservation without tribal consent. Now, despite the court-ordered need for further environmental review and the vacature of its federal permits, DAPL continues to operate, threatening Lake Oahe and the Missouri River, the tribe’s primary source of drinking water.
In the end, frontline and communities of color are rarely adequately consulted and they inevitably suffer disproportionately from the placement of noxious oil infrastructure in their backyards. Their only recourses are the courts — which fail them time and again — and direct action through protest. These protests will not end. But, if this bill passes, it will ultimately mean states are empowered to put them down in increasingly ugly and bloody fashion.
This bill is a flawed solution, and its overreach will exacerbate existing conflict. I urge you to use your power to stop HR 1374 in committee right now, before it makes it to the floor for a vote. If it comes before the entire Senate, please be on the right side of history. Please vote NO on HR 1374.
▶ First sent on July 31, 2021 by Water Protectors