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Articles by Gautama Mehta

Gautama Mehta is a writer from New York. In 2020, he was a Reporting Fellow at Coda Story.

Featured Article

An energy security bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last month has alarmed some environmental and Indigenous activists who say the legislation could fund states’ efforts to stifle protest against pipelines and other fossil fuel infrastructure. The bill’s opponents, which include the left-wing lawmakers of the so-called Squad, have said it complements the controversial “critical infrastructure” laws enacted in over a dozen states since the 2016 protests against the Dakota Access pipeline. Though the bill’s primary stated purpose is to incentivize states to engage in thorough emergency planning, its requirement that participating states coordinate with “energy providers from the private sector” has emerged as its most controversial provision.

The bill, known as HR 1374, provides financial assistance through the Department of Energy’s State Energy Program to help states formulate plans to secure energy infrastructure against “all physical and cybersecurity threats.” Sponsored by Democratic Representative Bobby Rush of Illinois, the bill passed the House of Representatives with broad bipartisan support by a vote of 398-21 on June 22, despite opposition fro... Read more