Congressman Ken Buck sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions requesting information on the Department of Justice's actions to prosecute individuals who engage in criminal activity against energy infrastructure. The bi-partisan letter, signed by over 80 members of the U.S. House, comes amid recent attacks by environmental activists on pipeline infrastructure around the country.
"Environmental activists who choose to use violence against our nation's energy infrastructure and the men and women who work in the energy industry should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," Congressman Ken Buck stated. "While I will continue to support their right to protest policies they disagree with, we need to send a strong message to those who destroy property that such dangerous behavior will not be tolerated by the communities who live around and rely on this energy infrastructure."
In October of 2016, several activists attempted a coordinated attack against oil pipeline infrastructure. Subsequent attacks occurred on the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Environmental extremists have been open about their intentions to damage infrastructure and hurt people in order to advance their political agenda. Some have filmed and posted their criminal behavior online, while another wrote a letter-to-the-editor to a Colorado newspaper calling for violence against energy infrastructure and employees of energy companies. Under pressure, the newspaper ultimately edited the online version of the letter.
Congressman Buck's letter to the Department of Justice seeks information as to whether federal statutes adequately allow the DOJ to prosecute criminal activity against energy infrastructure and whether the DOJ has and will federally prosecute individuals engaged in this illegal activity.