Friday, July 23, 2021

Play

More than 10,000 NY and NJ airport workers will get health insurance as part of new contract negotiations; and Dr. Jill Biden is in Tokyo for the Olympic Games.

Play

Drama builds over who will serve on the House January 6th panel; Senate tries to hold tech accountable for COVID misinformation; and VP Harris promotes a path to citizenship for Dreamers.

Activist Who Shut Off MT Oil Pipeline Not Sentenced to Jail Time

Play

Wednesday, March 21, 2018   

FORT BENTON, Mont. — A climate activist who shut down an oil pipeline in Montana in 2016 will not receive jail time for his actions.

On Tuesday, a judge in Fort Benton gave Leonard Higgins a deferred sentence of three years and ordered him to pay $3,700 in restitution to the oil pipeline company Enbridge. Last November, Higgins was charged with criminal mischief and misdemeanor criminal trespass and faced up to a decade in prison.

Speaking Monday before his sentencing, Higgins remained steadfast that it will take every kind of effort to stop climate change.

"I hope that our action encourages people to step out of their denial, to step out of the complacency and distractions of everyday life and realize that their kids' future and the life on our planet is in jeopardy and that we need to act,” Higgins said.

Together with four other activists in Minnesota, North Dakota and Washington state, Higgins helped shut down 15 percent of the United States' oil imports for about a day. The group is referred to as the "valve turners."

Enbridge said shutting off the pipeline was dangerous, and sought more than $26,000 in restitution for lost profits.

Lauren Regan, Higgins' attorney and executive director of the Civil Liberties Defense Center, commended the court for recognizing Higgins' action as a conscientious act of civil disobedience. She said it's also a win for free speech.

"When we see courts really slamming activism and sending people to jail for a long time, that tends to have a chilling effect on people's willingness to engage in civil disobedience and related direct action,” Regan said.

Higgins said he's encouraged by the increasing number of people he sees who are compelled to act.

"Really facing the crisis and working together, it brings out the best in people,” he said. “And I've never felt more connected and in community than I have since 2012 when I began doing this work."

While most of the others have not received jail time, North Dakota valve turner Michael Foster was sentenced to three years in prison in February.


get more stories like this via email

While most electricity in Utah is generated by gas or coal-powered plants, one regional utility is considering the nuclear option. (brianguest/Adobe Stock)

Environment

SALT LAKE CITY -- In the push toward carbon-free energy production, some cities in Utah and nearby states are considering a new type of nuclear …


Health and Wellness

TAMPA, Fla. -- Move United's USA Wheelchair Football League is expanding from four cities to nine, including Tampa, to give athletes with …

Environment

CRAIG, Colo. -- What would it look like if one in four households in the country was solar-powered? A new report from the "30 Million Solar Homes" …


According to the American Heart Association, one in five cardiac arrests occurs in public, such as on a job site. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

DES MOINES, Iowa -- People across the Midwest, including Iowans, have dealt with a series of heat waves this summer. Health experts say hotter …

Social Issues

NEW YORK -- Over 10,000 New York and New Jersey front-line airport workers will get health insurance as part of new contract negotiations that come at…

More than 400 laws have been introduced this year that would restrict voting rights across the country. (Lakshmiprasad/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

INDIANAPOLIS -- Voting-rights advocates applaud this week's federal appeals-court decision to prevent Indiana from purging some voters from the rolls …

Environment

BOSTON -- A new survey finds widespread public support up and down the East Coast for protecting right whales from getting tangled up in fishing gear…

Environment

CARSON CITY, Nev. - A bill just introduced in the U.S, Senate would help thousands of species stay off the Endangered Species List - including …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021