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South Dakota law calls on pipeline companies to pay for protest policing

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has signed into law a pair of bills aimed at possible protests against the planned Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Noem signed the bills on Wednesday, calling them a “proactive approach” that could be the “next generation model” for energy-infrastructure projects. The bills seek to prevent disruptive demonstrations like those against the Dakota Access pipeline, protests that cost North Dakota millions and led to hundreds of arrests.

They require pipeline companies to help pay extraordinary expenses such as the cost of policing during protests and allow officials to pursue money from demonstrators who encourage violence.

The pro-pipeline GAIN Coalition says the legislation provides “clarity about what crosses the line.”

The American Civil Liberties Union and American Indian tribes say Noem’s legislation will stifle free speech.

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