(No, not that kind, thanks–we’re taken.)

350 Seattle activist Andrew Kidde was looking at Sen. Doug “Protest is Economic Terrorism” Ericksen’s proposed bill, and noticed a funny thing. If you simply replace the words “economic disruption” with the admittedly longer (but more pertinent and precise, especially in low-lying Skagit County) words “knowingly profiting from the extraction, processing, and distribution of fossil fuels that harm others, especially those near to sites of extraction and combustion; those living near sea level; and future generations”:….well in that case, we’re all for it.

What do you say, Senator Ericksen? Wouldn’t you agree those harms are, shall we say, rather greater than the harms implicit in lost refinery profits?

For your ease, Senator, we offer herein the amended bill:

AN ACT Relating to offenses involving knowingly profiting from the extraction, processing, and distribution of fossil fuels that harm others, especially those near to sites of extraction and combustion; those living near sea level; and future generations; amending RCW 9.94A.753; adding a new section to chapter 9A.84 RCW; creating new sections; and prescribing penalties.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:

NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. The legislature recognizes and fully supports the ability of individuals to exercise their rights of free speech, press, and peaceful assembly, and to engage in other constitutionally protected activities. The legislature finds, however, that there is no right to harm another person or prevent another person from exercising his or her rights.

NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. A new section is added to chapter 9A.84 RCW to read as follows: (1) The prosecuting attorney may file a special allegation when sufficient evidence exists to show that the accused or an accomplice committed the offense of  knowingly profiting from the extraction, processing, and distribution of fossil fuels that harm others, especially those near to sites of extraction and combustion;  those living near sea level; and future generations, (2) In a criminal case in which there has been a special allegation and the accused has been convicted of the underlying crime, the court shall make a finding of fact prior to sentencing whether the person committed the offense to profit from fossil fuel business activities that harm others, especially those near to sites of extraction and combustion; those living near sea level; and future generations. If the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the person committed a criminal offense of profiting from fossil fuel business activities that harm others, especially those near to sites of extraction and combustion;  those living near sea level; and future generations:

  • (a) For a misdemeanor offense, sixty days;
  • (b) For a gross misdemeanor, six months;
  • (c) For any felony offense, twelve months.

Simple but apt, wouldn’t you say, Senator?