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Protesters Confront Anadarko to Prevent Drilling in Loyalsock State Forest

September 13, 2013

Earth First! Visits Anadarko’s Regional Office to Protest Loyalsock Drilling

First Tree-Sitter in the Forest Climbs Up

Williamsport, PA: At around 7:45 am today, Friday September 13th, Marcellus Shale Earth First! and allies from the region visited the Williamsport, Pennsylvania office of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation to protest their plans to use hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” to drill for natural gas in the Loyalsock State Forest. In the spirit of Friday the 13th; activists with Earth First! said they would bring “bad luck” for Houston-based Anadarko, whose proposed gas development would usher 26 fracking well-pads, multiple pipelines, access roads, compressor stations, and other associated infrastructure to the wild and highly revered Loyalsock State Forest.

At the end of the action, Earth First! announced that the first tree-sitter had climbed up, beginning a campaign to directly block fracking operations from beginning in the well-known and well-loved Loyalsock State Forest.

Protesters confront Anadarko on September 13th 2013 in Williamsport, PA. At the end of the protest, Earth First! announced the first tree-sit in the Loyalsock State Forest has begun.

Protesters confront Anadarko on September 13th 2013 in Williamsport, PA. At the end of the protest, Earth First! announced the first tree-sit in the Loyalsock State Forest has begun.

Thousands of acres are at risk from Anadarko’s plans; mature forest ecosystems, unique habitats such as high elevation wetlands and exceptional value streams teeming with trout are threatened. Several rare and threatened species call the forest home including the Timber Rattlesnake, Northern Water Shrew, Yellow Bellied Flycatcher, as well as several carnivorous plants such as the Pitcher Plant. The Loyalsock is the line in the sand for many locals who have been in active over the past year and a half publicly opposing Anadarko’s development.

Many in the area frequent the forest to hike, swim, camp, hunt, fish, and take solace in its wild and mostly undisturbed forest.

Anadarko has spilled 12,000 gallons of carcinogenic drilling mud in nearby Sproul State Forest, repeatedly failed to report faulty well casings, evaded responsibility for the death of eleven workers during the BP oil spill, and has shown an inability to maintain their waste water containment pits.  “It’s quite clear Anadarko can’t be trusted to maintain the integrity of an ecologically important forest such as the Loyalsock,” the protesters stated in a release.

“If Anadarko drills the Loyalsock, it’s bad luck for the forest,” said Greg Rothman. “Anadarko’s business record is rife with violations. We don’t trust them. Today’s demo kickstarts an Earth First! campaign to defend the Loyalsock from Anadarko’s plans for hydraulic fracturing development by any means necessary.  Today we are an omen of bad luck for Anadarko, because we plan to stop them!”

More photos of the action are here.

Earth First! released a statement describing their commitment and beliefs:

Earth First! Formed in 1979, in response to an increasingly corporate, compromising and ineffective environmental community. Marcellus Shale Earth First! is a regional network of Earth First!ers committed to a no compromise approach to end drilling everywhere. We believe in using all of the tools in the toolbox, from grassroots and legal organizing to civil disobedience and monkey wrenching. When the law won’t fix the problem, we put our bodies on the line to stop the destruction. Earth First! does not accept a human-centered worldview of “nature for people’s sake.” Instead, we believe life exists for its own sake.

Interested journalists please contact:

Marcellus Shale Earth First! Spokesperson – Rachel Leone

Phone: 570-995-1082                                                                                                

E-mail: MSEFMedia@gmail.com

Earth First! is seeking donations to support their campaign here; their merchandise link is here.

2 Comments
  1. Freyda Black permalink
    September 14, 2013 10:10 pm

    Hi Iris, I can’t help noticing “proofing” errors. You quote, “Anadarko’s business record is ripe with violations.” If you are not misquoting him, you should place “(sic)” after the word ripe.  What he really meant to say was “rife”.

    I find your blog a great resource.
    🙂 freyda

    ________________________________

    • Iris Marie Bloom permalink
      September 15, 2013 12:02 pm

      Thanks, that was a written quote and it was a busy day, so my own eagle eye didn’t catch it — thanks! Often when people are taking risks like that and really sticking their necks out to confront a toxic industry that everybody, it’s not like there’s someone sitting calmly at a computer somewhere — rather, it’s all hands on deck. Everybody wants Anadarko out of the forest — and I do mean everybody; when 500 people turned out at a hearing to fight hard using every public legal channel to chase Anadarko out of the Loyalsock State Forest, not one voice approved of their fracking this beloved, wild and treasured forest — but not everybody is willing to take risks like these activists are to block the frackers with their bodies. I hope the public does everything possible, including give donations, and including public praise with letters and comments, to support their campaign.

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