Protesters Confront Anadarko to Prevent Drilling in Loyalsock State Forest
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.
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!”
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