Monday, October 20, 2014

Pictures the Gas Thugs at the Marcellus Shale Operators Crime Committee May Not Want You To See

Photo, Wendy Lynne Lee

Here are some pictures of mine you haven't seen:

Pictures the Gas Thugs at the Marcellus Shale Operators Crime Committee May Not Want You To See - an album on Flickr

They're the less photogenic, not exactly photographs, shots of the everyday, business as usual crimes against nature and humanity  committed  across Pennsylvania by the oil and gas industry.

These are not necessarily pictures of the spectacular--the drilling mud spills, the explosions, the truck accidents--and on and on.

Instead these are the pictures of the devastating and irreparable destruction that this psychopathic industry commits every single minute of every single day against the ecologies and their inhabitants, against precious and dwindling resources and  the communities that depend on them, against the future of all of our children and theirs.

Photo, Wendy Lynne Lee

The tremendous irony is that the Marcellus Shale Operators Crime Committee exists as a partnership between Pennsylvania law enforcement and the gas thugs.

You've got that right.

As Adam Federman shows, MSOCC is "a little-known intelligence-sharing network that brings together law enforcement, including the FBI, Pennsylvania Office of Homeland Security, the oil and gas industry, and private security firms. Established in late 2011 or early 2012, the Marcellus Shale Operators' Crime Committee (MSOCC) is a group of "professionals with a law-enforcement background who are interested in developing working relationships and networking on intelligence issues," according to an email sent to group members by James Hansel, regional security manager for Anadarko Petroleum"(State police documents show intelligence-sharing network between law enforcement and Marcellus Shale drillers | News | Pittsburgh City Paper).

MSOCC's charge, in other words, is to

(a) keep us from exposing the crimes committed by the gas industry via, say pictures,
(b) use the police to intimidate us into silence when we do expose them--effectively criminalizing the exercise of our first amendment rights, and
(c) silence us.

Federman continues, "[t]he MSOCC has taken a keen interest in environmental activists and anti-fracking groups, according to documents obtained through a state Right to Know request. The collaboration raises questions about the increasingly close ties between law enforcement and the natural-gas industry in Pennsylvania, and whether law enforcement has violated the civil liberties of protesters and environmental groups in its effort to protect the state's most controversial industry."

That's putting it mildly.

When an officer like Mike Hutson can show up at the door of an activist who has exercised her or his constitutionally protected rights to freedom of expression, freedom of movement, freedom to travel public roads and document what she or he sees, and when that officer can simply appear without a warrant--there can be no other reason than that he has been co-opted and corrupted by a "partnership" whose reason for being is to suppress civil liberty.

But it's not just that Officer Hutson should be ashamed--as he surely should be. It's that he represents an agency--the Pennsylvania State Police--a state--The Commonwealth--private security firms (a polite name for paid surveillance mercenaries)--and an industry that operate collectively as a repressive regime against the people.

And "regime"is the right term.

The State Police, the state, the private security firms, the industry--are in fact populated by all the same people (virtually all white, virtually all male) who swap places in the ever upward game move of career advance. To say that this is all about money is an understatement.

It is, of course, but that's only because it's all about power and arrogance and entitlement and greed--a lethal cocktail that filters down through to the water table, to our wells, through our pores, into our lungs, tearing up our eyes, infiltrating the placentas of our developing babies--literally.

And yet they dare to call us the criminals.

Theirs' is a new definition of "crime."

From the point of view of power and arrogance and entitlement and greed, "crime" is "telling the truth."

To that crime, I plead guilty.

My pictures tell the truth.

What is that truth?

That the term "industry" is far too polite a name for an enterprise that, like the zombies on The Walking Dead, will eat anything, consume anything without conscience or foresight in order to survive.

Gas thugs are not captains of industry; they're rapists and charlatans; they're voracious and--once they have their precious pipelines--they are best cast as an invading army of vampires ready to slurp the last drop of gas-blood from every "sweet spot" and every "not-so-sweet"; spot until their thirst is slated.

Or until we are at war over the last drop of clean water, using weapons fueled by the gas thugs to get to it.

These are violent images to be sure.

But they are not one iota more violent than the every day business as usual devastations captured by these pictures.

If only we could see that.

Wendy Lynne Lee

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Letter to Every Citizen and Family in the Path of the Gas Thug Pipelines: Why This Insanity Must Be Stopped

Photo, Wendy Lynne Lee

Dear Pennsylvania citizen,

Whether or not you live along the right-of-way of  Williams Partners proposed Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline, and regardless whether you’ve been contacted by their aggressive landmen,  you need to be aware of several serious issues regarding this massive natural gas pipeline project. My message is simple: whether or not you live on or adjacent to the pipeline right-of-way, you could be impacted by this project in ways that endanger you property values, your health, and your community. Do you know that

·  the primary goal of the 42 inch, 177 mi. Atlantic Sunrise expansion of the TRANSCO is export to global markets via, for example, Dominion Energy’s planned 3.8 billion dollar Cove Point Liquefaction Project—recently approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) over 650 registered comments, virtually all of them opposed?
·      the ecological costs—borne by taxpayers—of Williams’ pipeline project include forest fragmentation, soil compaction, escalated flooding potential, water and air pollution—including possible exposure to carcinogens as well as neurotoxins?
·      the Atlantic Sunrise expansion will require compressor stations attended by their own unique hazards—including the emission of ozone, volatile organic compounds and other toxins, as well as the potential for explosion? Do you know that the explosion radius of any one of these compressors can exceed a half-mile?
·      no Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was required for issue of the permit at Cove Point?
·      Williams has a very disturbing record of pipeline leaks and explosions, several which have resulted in human casualties?
·      the natural gas industry’s own estimate is that –with this massive pipeline infrastructure in place—as many as 100,000 hydraulically fractured—fracked— wells could be on the horizon for Pennsylvanians?
·      the Department of Environmental Protection has finally released its report of at least 243 instances of drinking well contamination directly due to fracking since 2008? There are currently about 8200 operating unconventional gas wells in the state. Can you imagine the potential for contamination from 100,000?
·      FERC has approved three other LNG export projects, all in the Gulf of Mexico: the Sabine Pass Liquefaction Project, the Freeport LNG Project, and the Cameron LNG Project. Are you aware that fourteen LNG export proposals are pending, but expect approval?
·      the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) inspects only 7% of the 305,000 miles of the natural gas pipeline currently operating in the U.S.?

The Atlantic Sunrise poses unacceptable risks not only to the environment, but to human health and welfare. In addition,

·      Do you know that if you’re directly on the pipeline right-of-way, it could

Ø  Endanger your property values?
Ø  Endanger you and your children’s health?
Ø  Endanger your ability to secure homeowner’s insurance, second mortgages, and market value for your property?
Ø  Endanger your basic right to determine the use of your property by threatening its appropriation through eminent domain?
Ø  Endanger the clean air and water upon which your community depends?

·      Do you know that even if you’re not directly on the pipeline right-of-way, it could

Ø  Endanger your property values?
Ø  Endanger you and your children’s health?
Ø  Endanger your ability to secure homeowner’s insurance, second mortgages, and market value for your property?
Ø  Endanger the clean air and water upon which your community depends?

Do not let this happen.

For more information, including the EIS and the FERC documents, please see: 

For opportunities to action, please see:

For a printable copy of this letter, please contact