Anti-infrastructure activists have become increasingly active across the United States. In response, several states have taken steps to enhance criminal penalties to deter and punish activity that damages or intrudes upon critical infrastructure such as public utility facilities, critical manufacturers and transportation routes. An Ohio Senate panel took up SB 250 last week, legislation which would take proactive steps to protect infrastructure here. The Ohio Chamber testified as a proponent of the bill.
Energy infrastructure is among the most sensitive types of facilities in the country and attacks targeting them are increasing. There are numerous examples of electric substations being vandalized and even shot at. As construction of new pipeline routes continue to be built in Ohio it is critical to responsibly and safely protect Ohio’s abundant resources. These high-profile lines have become magnets for vandalism and damage in other states, including a case involving the use of a blowtorch. Incidents such as these pose a clear threat to the health and safety of people and the environment.
Ohio’s abundant natural resources, such as Lake Erie and the Ohio River, lead to ports and rail facilities that businesses rely on. The continued growth of Ohio’s economy depends on businesses being assured that capital investments in infrastructure in our state are safe from physical damage.
The committee is expected to meet again in several weeks and continue their consideration of SB 250.