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Eco-Terrorists Face Tough New Federal Law Authored by Senator Inhofe
May 25, 2007

Posted by Marc Morano – Marc_Morano@EPW.Senate.Gov1:14 PM ET

Eco-Terrorists Face Tough New Federal Law Authored by Senator Inhofe

Eco-terrorism is in the news again this week, providing an opportunity to highlight the new federal law written and shepherded through the Senate by Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) to combat such acts of violence.

A May 25, 2007 Rocky Mountain News reported on animal rights extremists: "They wanted to save the forests, to protect animals such as the lynx, to send a message to governments and corporations that putting profits before the good of the planet would not be tolerated. Instead, the environmental radicals who unleashed arson and other destruction during a five-year span starting in the mid-1990s - including the 1998 fires on Vail Mountain - have found themselves in a federal courthouse here this week, branded as ‘terrorists.'"

In addition, a federal judge declared this week that radical environmentalists were guilty of using "elements of terrorism" for torching SUVs in Oregon. U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken told the convicted arsonist: "It was your intent to scare and frighten other people through a very dangerous and psychological act – arson." Judge Aiken added, "Your actions included elements of terrorism to achieve your goal."

These types of eco-terror acts are the reason Senator Inhofe authored the "Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act," which was signed into law by President Bush in November 27, 2006. The Act, which Senator Inhofe worked closely with Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Representative Tom Petri (R-Wisc.) to pass, received broad bi-partisan support resulting in the bill’s unanimous passage in the 109th Congress.

Senator Inhofe detailed the merits of the bill last November: "I am proud the President signed into law my bill that provides law enforcement much needed tools to adequately combat radical animal rights extremists’ who commit violent acts against innocent people because of their work with animal research. My bill, that gained unanimous support of Congress, is an important step in the effort to combat animal rights extremists’ increasingly violent tactics. We can no longer tolerate criminally based activism regardless of the cause it allegedly advances."

Highlights of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act:

•The AETA gives needed protection to scientists, medical researchers, ranchers, farmers, and any other industry involving animals by expanding current law to address violent tactics used by animal rights extremists to frighten law abiding citizens away from their work.

•Prohibiting the animal rights extremists’ violent tactics will ensure that important animal enterprises, like biomedical industries, stay in California for example, rather than go to India or China.

•The AETA gives law enforcement the tools they need to adequately combat radical animal rights extremists who commit violent acts against innocent people because they work with animals.

•The AETA was introduced after the EPW Committee held two hearings on the issue.

 •The AETA has express first amendment protections.

•The AETA has a staggered penalty structure to meet varying levels of violent offenses.

•The AETA carries a penalty of life imprisonment for the death of an individual resulting from animal rights extremist’s dangerous tactics.

 See Related Links:

Visit Senator Inhofe’s EPW Committee website page on Eco-Terrorism


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