BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — An Oregon climate change activist has avoided jail time and been ordered to pay $3,775 after he was convicted of illegally shutting down a crude oil pipeline in Montana.
State District Judge Daniel Boucher (boo-SHAY) sentenced Leonard Higgins on Tuesday to a three-year deferred sentence and restitution for damages.
Court clerk Rick Cook says Higgins’ record will be cleared of a felony criminal mischief conviction if he doesn’t violate the terms of his sentence.
He faced a maximum of 10 years in prison.
Higgins entered a fenced site near Big Sandy, Montana, in October 2016 and closed a valve on pipeline operated by Spectra Energy.
The pipeline carries oil from Canada’s tar sands region.
Activists simultaneously targeted other pipelines in Washington state, North Dakota and Minnesota.