A Bayou Bridge Pipeline marker is pictured on Andre Avenue Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Maurice, La.

The Bayou Bridge Pipeline is on track to finish construction by fall, welcoming news for families looking to maintain stable fuel prices, relative to neighboring states and the U.S. average.

It’s also good news for those looking to protect the environment since pipelines are 4.5 times safer than any other mode of transport.

Unfortunately, anti-energy activists have thrown every wrench they can to prevent construction not only in court but through increasingly aggressive protests, harassment and sometimes even criminal acts of vandalism and trespassing, hurting cash-strapped families and small business via delays and resulting higher energy costs.

That’s why it’s important to recognize the benefits of legislation recently passed by the Louisiana legislature, designed specifically to protect critical infrastructure and the people working on these projects with clearly defined penalties against those who do harm or threaten to do harm. This includes damaging or tampering with pipelines, transmission lines and other energy and utility equipment.

Letters: Facts on pipeline disturbing

Some claim the legislation is a violation of First Amendment rights, but such rights should not be based on or rooted in violence. Instead, this well-crafted legislation helps improve and establish safety measures within the state to protect the environment and surrounding communities, all while allowing acceptable first-amendment expression.

By establishing better laws to protect pipelines, state policymakers are better protecting state waters and air quality as demand for energy continues to rise. By understanding the needs of families and businesses and how they use energy, leaders can help define policies to ensure their communities are safe and have the energy they need.

That’s why anti-development groups should let pipeline workers safely finish the job.

Link Browder

executive director, Consumer Energy Alliance