On Friday, officials said, “Environmental activists who sealed the largest U.S. energy export port for a day to protest climate change agreed to pay police, fire, and court costs to settle state criminal charges.”
In September 2019, during a presidential debate, Greenpeace members stopped shipping by hanging on ropes from a bridge over the Houston Ship Channel to bring attention to climate change matters in the city.
Houston grand jury later dismissed the criminal charges for interrupting critical energy infrastructure against 25 Greenpeace members who are involved in the protest. But the state proceeded with the lesser chargers for blocking a highway.
If there are no more violations by those 25 Greenpeace members in the next six months then the charges will be dismissed according to the agreement. Members of the group also agreed to compensate $250 in court costs to resolve the state highway blocking charges.
Greenpeace compensates local police and fire departments that recovered the protesters and their banners from the bridge with an amount of $58,450.
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said, “They wasted the time of police officers and firefighters, who potentially could have been used to respond to real emergencies.”
Federal charges are pending against 22 of the activists for blocking a waterway.
A Greenpeace USA spokesperson said the protesters accepted the state pre-trial intervention agreement without entering a guilty plea. The organization was not charged.
Federal advocates didn’t respond to any request for a statement on the condition of its cases.