FACT CHECK: Pipeline Bills Aren’t Aimed At Stopping Dissent

CLAIM: Anti-pipeline activist Michele Naar-Obed, who was arrested for attempting to damage a Minnesota pipeline, claims that “Since 2016, about three dozen states across the country have considered bills and executive orders explicitly designed to stop dissent against the fossil fuel industry.”



As we have previously noted, the legislation signed in South Dakota and being considered in other states is not “designed to stop dissent.” Rather, the legislation is designed to discourage activists like Naar-Obed and those who bring a more destructive or violent approach to their protests of critical infrastructure projects.

The bills do nothing to infringe about protesters’ First Amendment rights to dissent – including speech and assembly. They do address trespassing, violence and damage to infrastructure projects – none of which are protected by the Constitution.