Senate File 074 is a Koch brother and petroleum industry written and promoted bill that will have a chilling effect on the free speech rights of Wyoming citizens. It was made public days before the current budget session started and is being rushed through by Senate leader Eli Bebout and others without even cursory opportunity for the people of Wyoming to review and comment. A major change to Wyoming law needs thorough examination by legislators, citizens and attorneys for its free speech impacts. All of that is currently being bypassed.
Promoted as a means to prevent damage of oil and gas infrastructure, the bill essentially places Wyoming law enforcement at the service of the fossil fuel industry to quell protests from those who want to protect land, water, wildlife and private property from excesses by those industries. It places extraction as a more important industry to protect than that of ranching, farming, recreation and tourism, and as more important than the quality of water and air for communities. The bill would outlaw damage and also anything that "impedes" industry activities, and would authorize gargantuan punishments of 10 years in jail for individuals and fines of up to $1 million for any group it could tie to opposing the industry.
This is too important to be rushed and must be held over for next year to prevent an unconstitutional law and an egregious assault on Wyoming citizens' rights.