Dear Editor: An oil industry-sponsored bill in the state Legislature would unreasonably threaten citizens with a felony conviction.

Key point: the proposed law would penalize “intent” to trespass. Nothing in the bill describes who would decide what “intent” is. Current trespassing laws are adequate and there is no need for this extreme legislation.

Of course citizens want to monitor and assess the dangers of the oil industry expansion in Wisconsin.

Common sense tells us that it is not a good idea to put dangerous materials such as crude oil in continual close proximity to valued waters, residents and infrastructure.

Oil industry plans view Wisconsin as a major transportation corridor for crude oil and other dangerous materials. Oil pipeline expansions, the surge in hazardous oil trains passing through our towns and an attempt to establish an oil terminal in Port Milwaukee have serious implications.

An oil train that passed through La Crosse, Tomah, Portage, Columbus and Milwaukee in 2013 went on to derail in Quebec. Forty-seven people died in the massive explosion and fire that followed.

What is at stake is fundamental: a citizen's right to know and object to dangerous industrial projects.

Insist that your elected representatives oppose Assembly Bill 426 and Senate Bill 386.

Eric Hansen


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