Tag Archives: Pennsylvania

PA State Police, Private Security Firms Keeping Close Tabs on Fracking Opponents

Environmental watchdogs worried about the criminalization of dissent

By Adam Federman, Earth Island Journal

Anti-fracking activists protesting a natural-gas conference in Philadelphia last fall were being monitored by a private security company that sent a photo of a demonstrator to the Pennsylvania State Police, according to an email obtained by Earth Island Journal.

A few months earlier, at another industry-led conference, state Trooper Michael Hutson delivered a presentation on environmental extremism and acts of vandalism across Pennsylvania’s booming Marcellus Shale natural-gas reserves. He showed photographs of several anti-fracking groups in Pennsylvania, including Shadbush Environmental Justice Collective protesters demonstrating at an active gas well site in Lawrence County in western Pennsylvania.

photo of a woman holding a protest sign on a farm
A Pennsylvania state police trooper used this photo of organic hog farmer Maggie Henry as part of a Powerpoint presentation about “environmental extremism.”

That same Pennsylvania state trooper visited the home of anti-fracking activist Wendy Lee, a Bloomsburg University philosophy professor, to question her about photos she took of a natural gas compressor station in Lycoming County. Remarkably, the trooper earlier had crossed state lines and traveled to New York to visit Jeremy Alderson, publisher of the No Frack Almanac, at his home outside Ithaca, to accuse him of trespassing to obtain photos of the same compressor station. Continue reading PA State Police, Private Security Firms Keeping Close Tabs on Fracking Opponents

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Another Pipeline Proposal Meets Opposition in Central PA

The proposed EmberClear gas pipeline may cross the Zerbes' farm in Washington Township./Photo by David McKeown
The proposed EmberClear gas pipeline may cross the Zerbes’ farm in Washington Township./Photo by David McKeown

By Mark Gilger Jr, Republican Herald

PINE GROVE — Jack Zerbe II was about 10 years old when the Sunoco pipeline was built through his family’s farm in Washington Township, but he remembers that it took 15 to 20 years for production on that land to return to where it was before construction.

As three generations of Zerbes continue to oppose the proposed construction of The Williams Companies pipeline through their portion of the county, they received a letter Jan. 26 from another company looking to put another pipeline through their property. Continue reading Another Pipeline Proposal Meets Opposition in Central PA

Native Americans Fight to Keep Pipeline Off Their Land

Chief Carlos Whitewolf of Lancaster sings a Native American prayer in protest of a pipeline project. The protest was outside a Republican Party retreat. (NATASHA KHAN, PUBLICSOURCE)

By Natasha Khan, PublicSource

Chief Carlos Whitewolf beat a small hand drum and sang a Native American prayer for Mother Earth in the cold January air in Hershey.

Many of the 50 or so other protesters outside the Hershey Lodge, where national Republican Party leaders were attending a retreat, demonstrated against issues such as the Keystone XL Pipeline and climate change.

But Whitewolf, chief of the Northern Arawak Tribal Nation of Pennsylvania, was objecting to something more local — the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project in Lancaster County.

Whitewolf calls the project “disrespectful” because the pipeline’s current route goes through parts of southwestern Lancaster County rich with ancient Native American artifacts and burial sites. Continue reading Native Americans Fight to Keep Pipeline Off Their Land

A Native American protest to stop a PA pipeline

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By Natasha Khan, PublicSource

Chief Carlos Whitewolf beat a small hand drum and sang a Native American prayer for Mother Earth in the cold January air in Hershey, Pa.

Many of the 50 or so other protesters outside the Hershey Lodge, where national Republican leaders attended a retreat, demonstrated against issues like the Keystone XL pipeline and climate change.

But Whitewolf, chief of the Northern Arawak Tribal Nation of Pennsylvania, was objecting to something more local. In nearby Lancaster County, it’s the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project. Continue reading A Native American protest to stop a PA pipeline

Columbia Gas Thumbs Nose at PA Town, But Officials Prepared to Enforce Rules

By Pamela Sroka-Holzmann | The Express-Times

Forks Township supervisors Thursday told residents they would take action on Columbia Gas Co.’s expanded compressor station if the project doesn’t adhere to township ordinances.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which has oversight of the project, in December allowed Columbia Gas Transmission to move forward with plans for the East Side Expansion project.

The project seeks to more than quadruple the horsepower of the compressor station, from roughly 5,000 horsepower to 22,000. Columbia spokesman Brendan Neal previously said the project is intended to meet increased demand for natural gas. Continue reading Columbia Gas Thumbs Nose at PA Town, But Officials Prepared to Enforce Rules

Fracking Rig in Pittsburgh Metro Area Catches Fire

Photo by WPXI
Photo by WPXI

UPDATE BELOW

By Madasyn Czebiniak, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The fire that took over a Range Resource natural gas well rig in North Strabane late Wednesday afternoon was the result of equipment failure on a piece of machinery, the Fort Worth-based drilling company said in a news release.

The fire was reported about 5:15 p.m. at Range Resource’s Elizabeth Gell rig at 257 Ross Road. A number of fire companies responded, as did the Washington County hazardous materials team. Continue reading Fracking Rig in Pittsburgh Metro Area Catches Fire

Opposition Greets Proposed Marcellus Shale-Trenton Pipeline

By Andrew Maykuth, The Inquirer

SERGEANTSVILLE, N.J. – A blanket of snow overlay the idyllic landscape of farms, stone walls, and New Jersey’s oldest surviving covered bridge last week. Alix Bacon, a regional manager for the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, swept her arm across the postcard vista.

“All of this is preserved,” said Bacon, whose organization played a key role in securing the development rights to maintain the region’s rural character.

Last year, a consortium of utilities announced plans to build the 110-mile PennEast Pipeline to deliver natural gas from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale region to an interconnection near Trenton. The proposed route would cut a swath across this part of Hunterdon County hugging the Delaware River.

Local landowners have risen up – colorful anti-pipeline protest signs sprout from the roadsides of most communities along its route. Residents say they fear the pipeline will cause environmental harm, permanently scar the terrain, lower property values, and put their lives at risk.

Continue reading Opposition Greets Proposed Marcellus Shale-Trenton Pipeline