Critical Infrastructure Bill Opponent Says It Attacks KXL Protests

Mar 4, 2020

Rep. Kirk Chaffee
Credit SD Legislative Research Council

South Dakota's critical infrastructure bill passed the House Commerce and Energy Committee on Wednesday, March 4. Senate Bill 151 is modeled after similar legislation in other states. It offers special protections to public utilities, including pipelines and pipe yards. Proponents say the threat of felony charges lets potential vandals know the state takes its utilities seriously. Opponents agree, except for one thing: they say the bill unconstitutionally stifles protest of the Keystone XL pipeline. SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

Bruce Ellison at a SD Water Management Board hearing in October 2019.
Credit Victoria Wicks file photo