UPDATE 5:30 pm: Arrestees are being held at Lycoming County jail where they face charges including misdemeanor 3 disorderly conduct, misdemeanor 2 failure to disperse, misdemeanor reckless endangerment and summary obstructing highways . The total bail for all 5 has been set at $57,500. Help get these brave resisters out of jail by donating to their bail fund here –> https://fundly.com/marcellus-shale-earth-first
UPDATE 12:30 pm: Last protestors leaving the wellpad now after 6 hours of successful action. 3 locked down and 2 support people have been arrested. All of the rest of the support has been released! Thanks for your support.
UPDATE 11:30 am : After 4 hours of halting operations, the 3 folks locked down across the road have been removed, but the traffic jam we made won’t be cleared up for another couple of hours! Meanwhile, dozens of other activists are bringing the fight to Anadarko’s doorstep at their offices in Williamsport. Five confirmed arrests so far.
Waterville, Pa. — In the pre-dawn hours, activists with Marcellus Shale EarthFirst!, Pennsylvania residents and students took action to halt Anadarko’s hydraulic fracturing operation in the Tiadaghton State Forest. Protestors blocked the only access road to a wellpad by locking themselves to barrels of concrete, preventing workers from entering the site. Dozens more activists are holding a rally at Anadarko’s corporate offices in Williamsport, Pa. The activists are demanding an immediate halt to all plans for new drilling on Pennsyvlania’s public lands.
Michael Badges-Canning, retired school teacher from Butler County said: “The public lands of Pennsylvania belong to all Pennsylvanians. It is my obligation as a resident of the Commonwealth and a grandparent to protect our wild heritage, our pristine waters and the natural beauty for my grandchildren, Dougie and Lochlin.”
Gov. Corbett has recently issued an executive order to open Pennsylvania’s remaining public lands for hydraulic fracturing. This includes state forests that have been off limits to gas companies since 2010, when then Governor Ed Rendell declared a moratorium on any new leases. The moratorium came in the wake of a Pennsylvania DCNR study that concluded no remaining state owned lands were suitable for oil and gas development without significant surface disruptions. Corbett’s current move to lift the multi-year ban ignores the negative effects that new leases will have on Pennsylvania’s most ecologically sensitive forests, including those where species are at risk.
Anadarko’s proposed development of the Clarence Moore tract, part of the Loyalsock Forest, has become the center of the grassroots campaign to defend Pennsylvania’s remaining wild places. Local residents packed DCNR hearings in protest of Anadarko’s plans, leading to the ousting of former DCNR secretary Richard Allan. According to PA DEP’s Oil and Gas Compliance Report, Anadarko has been cited with nearly 250 violations over the last five years, ranking the company in the top three percent of violators statewide.
Danielle Dietterick with Marcellus Shale Earth First! said: “As a lifelong resident of Pennsylvania, I feel a moral responsibility to protect my home from the malicious onslaught of an industry with a track record of environmental degradation and human rights violations. Our Governors complicity has proven he is an industry pawn who can ignore the words of our state constitution and the desires of those who he is supposed to represent.”
Residents of Pennsylvania have shown that they will not give up their wild places without a fight. In July 2012, nearly 100 activists with Marcellus Shale EarthFirst! Forced a 70-foot-tall EQT hydrofracking drill rig to suspend operations for 12 hours in the Moshannon State Forest. Last fall, students from around the country rallied with Allegeny County residents in Pittsburgh to oppose County Executive Rich Fitzgerald’s plan to open up county parks to hydrofracking. Marcellus Shale EarthFirst! has vowed to prevent any new shale gas development in the Loyalsock State Forest.