Controversial Bill Will Be Resurrected

Mar 5, 2018

A Wyoming House Committee killed and then said it would resurrect a controversial bill aimed at delaying the construction or operation of an infrastructure facility, like that at Standing Rock in North Dakota. 

Credit Stephanie Joyce

The bill provides for prison time and a million dollar fine for someone interfering with something like a pipeline or a power plant. 

The House Minerals Committee killed the bill on a tie vote, but later in the day, Representative Bill Henderson said he would change his vote. After some House Rules Committee meetings, the committee was given permission to reconsider the bill. Many were furious with the change of events, but Speaker of the House Steve Harshman said it was all within House Rules.

Jill Morrison of the Powder River Basin Resource Council said the circumstances surrounding the committee meeting were strange, but she notes industry lobbyists are strongly behind the bill, which has others concerned.    

“Landowners regarding eminent domain potential, taking of property, accusing landowners…organizations…groups of trying to impede critical infrastructure.”

Morrison believes the bill will get out of committee and many organizations will work especially hard to kill it on the House floor. If not they hope the legislature will come to a close before the bill passes.