The West Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee approved by a voice vote on March 4 a bill that would establish as a misdemeanor an action by “any person who willfully and knowingly trespasses or enters property containing a critical infrastructure without permission.”  A similar measure passed the WV House of Delegates by a 65-30 vote on February 13.  The bill defines “critical infrastructure” to include natural gas pipelines and compressor stations.

The Senate Judiciary’s version of the bill has somewhat lower fines applied to the cited offenses and exempts actions deemed to be exercises of free speech, including “protesting and picketing.”  The full Senate is expected to take up the bill before the Legislature’s scheduled adjournment by Midnight, March 7.

WV Senate Committee Approves Bill Curbing Infrastructure Protests
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