DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A federal judge sentenced an Arizona woman on Thursday to six years in prison for using a cutting torch to damage the Dakota Access pipeline in Iowa and setting fire to pipeline equipment in three counties in 2016 and 2017.
The judge also ordered Ruby Katherine Montoya, 32, to pay nearly $3.2 million in restitution together with Jessica Reznicek, a woman who helped her.
Montoya pleaded guilty to conspiracy to damage an energy facility. She admitted to helping Reznicek and others damage the pipeline in several locations in Iowa.
“The sentence imposed today demonstrates that any crime of domestic terrorism will be aggressively investigated and prosecuted by the federal government,” U.S. Attorney Richard D. Westphal said in a statement. He said the seriousness of the actions warranted a significant prison sentence and should deter others who might consider engaging in domestic terrorism.
Reznicek was sentenced to eight years in prison in June 2021 after pleading guilty to a similar charge. She appealed the sentence, but it was upheld by a federal appeals court in June.
Dakota Access, a subsidiary of Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, constructed the controversial $3.8 billion, 1,168-mile pipeline that cuts through North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa, ending in Illinois.
Environmental groups opposed the pipeline, which they said risked an oil spill disaster. Some landowners also opposed the use of eminent domain to force farmers to allow its construction on their land, and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe fought the pipeline, claiming the environmental impact review was inadequate.
Montoya's attorney did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
When inflation rises, it's not difficult to notice higher prices. But you don't have to be very old to understand the expression that a dollar doesn't buy as much as it used to. The Happy Meal was introduced in 1979 for a price of $1.10. Today, that same meal costs $2.99. Yet, it remains one of the restaurant chain's most popular items. It's also a barometer for the economy because of its convenience for parents.
And consider the iPhone which costs 81% more in 2022 than the initial model that launched in 2007. Yet despite the increase in price, consumers are willing to pay whatever is required.
The key to both of these examples, and others like them, is pricing power. A company that has the ability to raise its prices can maintain its profit margins. That means it delivers consistent results regardless of what's happening in the broader economy. In good times, this may be taken for granted. But when the economy slows down, that consistency stands out.
In this special presentation, we're looking at seven companies with significant pricing power at all times, particularly with inflation currently running at 40-year highs.
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