DeSmog Article: State Backers of Anti-Protest Bills Received Campaign Funding from Oil and Gas Industry, Report Finds

Politicians responsible for drafting laws criminalizing pipeline protests in Louisiana, West Virginia, and Minnesota did so after receiving significant funding from the fossil fuel industry, according to a new report by the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive think tank based in Washington, D.C.

The major pipelines studied in the report disproportionately impact historically disenfranchised communities who, in turn find themselves potentially targeted by the protest criminalization measures, often framed as efforts to protect “critical infrastructure,” the report details.

“Under the premise of protecting infrastructure projects,” the Institute wrote, “these laws mandate harsh charges and penalties for exercising constitutional rights to freely assemble and to protest.”

Marathon Petroleum, one of three large fossil fuel companies the report names as driving state-level efforts to criminalize pipeline protests, is also facing new allegations of electoral wrong-doing in the form of a Federal Election Commission complaint alleging that the company made over $1 million in contributions to Republican super PACs that are barred by rules preventing federal contractors from providing that sort of funding.

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