CLEARBROOK, MN—Rep. Matt Grossell, R-Clearbrook, issued the following statement regarding Tuesday’s decision by a Clearwater County judge to dismiss charges against three protesters who attempted to shut off pipelines in Northwest Minnesota by turning their emergency shut-off valves in 2016. The three protesters had been charged with felonies, and a jury had already been seated for the case.
"The decision by the judge in this case was extremely disappointing and will only serve to embolden bad actors seeking to circumvent the rule of law to fit their extreme agenda. Actions like these are part of the reason the legislature sought to enhance protection of critical infrastructure like pipelines—we need to send a strong message that this kind of illegal and dangerous activity is unacceptable, and will not be tolerated. Protesters have moved from shutting down freeways to now attacking our energy infrastructure. This is a very dangerous action that needs to be corrected in the next legislative session."