Saturday, March 29, 2014

When it Comes to Fracking, McGinty, McCord, Schwartz, and Wolf are just another way to spell "C-O-R-B-E-T-T": Why the PA Green Party is the Only Way to Go

Photo, Wendy Lynne Lee

In the now heated (or not really) dash to the May primaries in Pennsylvania, the run for the nomination for governor on the Democratic ticket includes all of the usual rhetoric about education, health care, prisons, some relatively new come-to-Jesus moments about Marijuana, and what amounts to little more than some hand-waving at the most important environmental issue to face Pennsylvanians of our times: the consequences, inception to export, of slickwater hydraulic horizontal fracking.

Photo, Wendy Lynne Lee

In fact, I think it no stretch at all to suggest that the spate of candidates on the Democratic ticket is woefully under-educated, under-interested, and underwhelming on this issue. Here's how a Democrat friend put it to me "Wendy, you know, we can't have everything. You have to be willing to give up something."

But--my response--if we give up our right to clean water and air, what's the point of fighting for any of these other valuable things?

It was with this no-brainer insight in mind that I accepted an invitation to speak at the PA Green Party Nominating Convention, 2.29.14, and it is the reason I accepted the Lt. Governor's spot for the governor's race with Paul Glover on the green Party ticket  (Green Party Convention Presentation, 2.14 - a set on Flickr).

Photo, Wendy Lynne Lee

Don't get me wrong--it's not that I think fracking is the only issue confronting Pennsylvanians. It's that there will be no effective way of addressing any of these until we get very clear that fracking must be banned--and only one party is willing to stand by that message:

Of all the issues confronting Pennsylvanians—health care, education, jobs, etc.—among the most important of these are the devastating ecological and human rights toll the fossil fuel extraction industry has taken on the Commonwealth, her neighboring states, and the planet as a whole in the form of its potentially devastating contribution to climate change.
 Fracking must be banned.
There are many reasons why an articulate and uncompromising opposition to hydraulic fracturing, mountain top removal, tar sands extraction, other forms of unconventional gas drilling, the Keystone Pipeline, the construction of LNG export depots, is critical to the Pennsylvania gubernatorial campaign.  
Here are just four:
1.The responsibility of the governor is to uphold the Pennsylvania Constitution, including Article 1, section 27: “The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.”
2.The fossil fuel industry’s profit objectives are demonstrably inconsistent with the commitment to health care, education, and jobs.  
A few examples:
a. Health care: given the hazardous health effects that follow from exposure to the carcinogens, biocides, and other toxins associated with the fracking process; given that a similar account can be given for exposure to toxins resultant from compressor station emissions; given the potential for explosions at every juncture of this process—frack pad, pipeline, truck accident, compressor; and lastly, given that these hazards make particularly vulnerable populations already marginalized by the state’s inadequate health care access, no case can be made in defense of the industry’s conversion of Pennsylvania into what amounts to an extraction factory for wealthy multinationals.
b. Education: in addition to the obvious hazards of locating extraction-associated facilities next to public schools, the effort of the Corbett administration to extort state universities into accepting extraction operations on their campuses is in obvious conflict with the missions of those public institutions, and inconsistent with the commitment to the health and welfare of their communities.  APSCUF—the Associated Pennsylvania State College and University Faculty union—opposes any such construction, and I had the privilege of drafting that resolution for all 14 campuses.
c. Jobs: as is made clear on the numbers, the shale boom has not generated lasting employment for Pennsylvanians. Instead, it has diminished the potential for future employment in industries connected to our once spectacular forests, rivers, and high value streams, exposed mostly non-unionized workers to toxic health hazards, and exported profits from frack pad to off-shore bank accounts of already obscenely wealthy CEOs. That a very few may become very wealthy via royalties or other associated enterprise at the expense of the very many is intolerable to a democratic union and a prescription for future disaster.

3. States are no more closed loop systems than are human bodies or frack pads. In a world increasingly confronted by the effects of global climate change, deforestation, desertification, and toxic pollution, governors and legislators must act responsibly not merely to their own constituents—much less to their campaign donors—but to the stability of the global ecology as a whole.  We can no longer afford to bury our heads in the sand about the impacts of an industry whose history so clearly shows that its mercenary drive to profit exceeds at every turn its commitment to human welfare or ecological stability.
4. States do not have the right to deploy their police forces to quash dissent—yet, our current administration not only acts legislatively to insure the smooth path to profit, but deploys its police resources against the people in an effort to suppress, fear-monger, manipulate, and intimidate those who expose this path as littered with toxins, political corruptions, and egregious forms of harm (THE WRENCH: WHEN THE NATURAL GAS INDUSTRY USES THE STATE POLICE AND THE FBI JOINT TERRORISM TASK FORCE TO SILENCE A CITIZEN: OFFICER MIKE HUTSON AT MY DOOR, 2.14.14).
Extreme forms of fossil fuel extraction must be banned not only because the citizens of the Commonwealth cannot afford the consequences, but because no regulation can adequately prevent the harm. As we at Shale Justice (Shale Justice)  claim consistently: regulation is about nothing other than controlling temporarily the rate of harm—not the quantity, not the duration.  Moreover, no matter what some argue are “best practices,” none keep the gas in the ground—the only strategy that will prevent the contribution of fossil fuel extraction to climate change.
Pennsylvania’s governor must act not only in the interest of all Pennsylvanians—but for the future of Pennsylvania. What this means is that she or he must take seriously the adage that the local is the global—for this is no mere hyperbole; it is fact.  And as such, it is moral duty.
It is remarkable and deeply telling that no candidate (or designated representative) from the Democrats appeared at the Susquehanna County Courthouse, 3.24.14, in defense of either the First Amendment rights of anti-fracking Vera Scroggins, but a representative from the Green Party was (.The Right to Freedom of Expression to Confront an Industry that is Poisoning Us: Vera Scroggin's Hearing, 3.24.14 - a set on Flickr).

Photo, Wendy Lynne Lee

It is remarkable and deeply telling that none of the remaining Democrats running for the governor's office have signed onto their own party's moratorium to halt fracking (6.15.13: PA State Democratic Committee Passes Resolution to Support Fracking Moratoriume to search your sets - a set on Flickr).

And it's remarkable that no candidate for the Democratic nomination for any office appeared in defense of the incredibly courageous folks who blockaded an Anadarko frack operation in Tiadaghton State Forest (THE WRENCH: Anadarko Liquidates Public Lands for Private Profits: Marcellus Shale Earth First Fights for All of Us at Tiadaghton).

Photo, Wendy Lynne Lee

But what is the most remarkable and the most telling are the campaign statements about natural gas production--and how easily we could simply swap them out for Governor Corbett's own.

Here's Corbett's:

Tom Corbett promised he was going to do everything he could to make Pennsylvania an energy supplier to America and the rest of the world -- and he's delivered.  Not only is Pennsylvania a leading producer of coal, utilizing clean-coal technology, but Pennsylvania is now the second-largest natural gas producer in the entire country.
And the benefits to Pennsylvanians have been nothing short of remarkable. The Marcellus Shale natural gas industry now supports over 200,000 direct and indirect Pennsylvania jobs.  And that number is expected to continue growing.
But the benefits for Pennsylvanians are much greater than just jobs.  Tom Corbett has made sure this growing industry is held accountable for following strict environmental guidelines, as well as ensuring local communities share in the economic benefits.
So far, the Marcellus Shale natural gas industry has paid over $400 million to local communities for their critical local projects, and an additional $2.1 billion in state corporate taxes, helping ensure we can keep taxes low for hardworking Pennsylvania families. It’s also resulted in lower energy bills for Pennsylvania families and seniors.
Tom Corbett is keeping his promise to establish Pennsylvania as a leading energy supplier to America and the rest of the world. (

Now, while we gasp at the arrogant mendacity of this set of claims, let's look at  Kathleen McGinty--a Pennsylvania revolving door frack-gas beneficiary if ever there was 
(Fracking and the Revolving Door in Pennsylvania | Public Accountability Initiative):

CLEAR VALLEY, Pa.---Speaking today before the Lehigh Valley Chamber Energy and Environment Conference, Katie McGinty, Democratic candidate for governor, outlined a jobs plan to grow Pennsylvania’s economy by making Pennsylvania a leader in natural gas and clean and efficient energy development, while protecting the environment.
“I believe it’s Pennsylvania’s time to shine. We have an historic economic opportunity to develop Pennsylvania’s abundant supply of natural gas---while protecting the environment. But it would be shortsighted to have an energy policy that focused exclusively on a single resource. It’s time to make Pennsylvania the hotbed of energy innovation---where we can build a new industrial cluster to satisfy the world’s need for cleaner and more efficient energy. If we do this, we will grow Pennsylvania’s economy, create good-paying jobs, and improve the lives of hard-working families,” said McGinty, in another in a series of proposals to create jobs and improve the lives of Pennsylvania families.
McGinty was head of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) under Governor Ed Rendell and served as Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality under President Clinton. In the private sector, McGinty has been a clean energy industry leader.
Clearly, with respect to natural gas development, there is no difference between Tom Corbett and Kathleen McGinty--no difference between Republicans and Democrats, no affirmation of the Democratic Party's moratorium, and no recognition of the extent to which addressing every other issue facing Pennsylvanians depends on forcefully addressing this one.
But maybe I spoke too soon. Let's see--there's Rob Mc'Cord:

Pennsylvania is blessed by abundant natural resources. Protecting those resources and building a healthy and sustainable economy for Pennsylvania and future generations is of paramount importance to ensuing the state’s communities are safe and livable.
As governor, McCord will:
  • Ensure tough, but fair, oversight of natural gas drilling to prevent water contamination, preserve the land, and protect the state’s air.
  • Expand the development and use of clean, renewable energy sources like wind, solar, geothermal and hydroelectricity.
  • Protect the state’s waterways from pollution by ensuring strict safeguards against development, erosion, and industrial activity.
  • Invest in conservation practices and programs that preserve farmland and open spaces.
  • Make Pennsylvania a leader in green buildings and sustainable development that mitigates the impact of human activity on the environment.
Sound good? Only if (a) you think that cancer, endocrine disease, rashes, lung ailments, asthma, explosions, and climate change are "tough but fair," and (b) you think a nod to renewables really means that fracking won't simply continue on the same accelerated trajectory it is right now--waiting for the green light from export facilities like Cove Point (Protest at Annapolis: Dominion, Get Out of Cove Point, MD - a set on Flickr).

After all, Corbett has consistently promised the same things. As Scott Perry, Deputy Secretary, Office of Oil and Gas, Department of Environmental Protection tells us: 

The truth is that right now under Gov. Corbett, Pennsylvania has the highest environmental protection standards for the unconventional gas industry in our history"  (

How About Allyson Schwartz? 

The natural gas resources of the Marcellus Shale present the Commonwealth with an extraordinary opportunity. These resources belong to the people of Pennsylvania, who deserve a fair deal and a lasting positive legacy for the Commonwealth. This legacy should be world-class schools, a 21st century transportation network, clean and cheap energy, and new jobs that can power our economy for the future.
Governor Tom Corbett has turned his back on this opportunity. While giving gas companies tax breaks and charging a minimal impact fee, he cut nearly $1 billion from public education and slashed support for state universities. In addition, Governor Corbett has actively worked to shield gas companies from accountability. He has allowed these companies to hide information from the public about the chemicals they use and placed a notorious “gag order” on doctors. Even as Marcellus Shale development expands and well owners repeatedly violate environmental laws, Corbett has slashed funding for the Department of Environmental Protection and failed to enforce high standards.As governor, Schwartz will enact a moderate gas severance tax to support transformational investments in education, transportation, clean energy, and the people of Pennsylvania. And, she will act to protect our environment and the health of our families.
Translation: "Yeah for Gas! And yeah! for the myth that the gas is going to substantially benefit Pennsylvanians even though the evidence show the contrary: 

1. From MSN Money, 8.21.13: "The one certainty about fracking, however, is that it doesn't exactly do wonders for property values. As reported by The Atlantic, mortgage lenders are becoming more cautious about approving loans for properties near fracking sites. Lawyers, real estate agents, public officials and environmentalists have noted that banks and federal agencies are revisiting their lending policies to account for the potential impact of drilling on property values. In some cases they are refusing to finance property with or even near drilling activity.That's particularly problematic, considering that many home insurance policies do not cover residential properties with a gas lease or gas well, though all mortgage companies require home insurance from their borrowers. Part of the problem stems from uncertainty over the effects of the process itself." (
2. From Tara Clarke of Monday Morning: "You might comfort yourself with the thought that there's nothing in the news about people being harmed by fracking chemicals. No real data is coming out showing that fracking taints our water. Well, as it turns out, across the country drillers are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash settlements to silence people who say that fracking ruined their water. In return for the hush money, they must sign non-disclosure agreements."At this point they [the companies] feel they can get out of this litigation relatively cheaply," said Marc Bern, an attorney with Napoli Bern Ripka Sholnik LLP in New York, who has negotiated about 30 settlements on behalf of homeowners, in an interview for Bloomberg. "Virtually on all of our settlements where they paid money they have requested and demanded that there be confidentiality." This strategy keeps real fracking data out of the public's reach.With no public court hearings, and no Average Joe on local news channels talking about how he can light his drinking water on fire, it's very difficult to challenge policymakers' claims that fracking doesn't cause ill-effects" (Drillers Pay Hush Money to Keep Their Fracking Secrets).
And then, of course, came the Hallowich case--but you don't really see any of the Democratic candidates talking about that. The fact is that while Big Gas is making money hand over fist, they're externalizing the costs to you and me--and none of the Democratic candidates make even a fleeting attempt to honestly own up to that fact.
The Hallowich Family

Schwartz then repeats the line about protections, regulations, and enforcements--and she claims she'll continue the moratorium on the Delaware River Basin. But anyone with a shred of social justice sense knows that that's just code for "I'll continue to privilege the wealthy over the poor, the affluent and politically powerful over the....poor." Why? Because the only difference between the Delaware River Basin and the Susquehanna has nothing to do with geology, gas availability, or other ecological differences--and everything to do with the width of the wallets of the folks who live in one basin as opposed to the other.

Lastly is Tom Wolf:

Pennsylvania is sitting on one of the largest deposits of natural gas in the world, the Marcellus Shale formation, which stretches from our northeast to southwest corner. With new drilling techniques we can now efficiently unlock these massive natural gas deposits that lie beneath huge portions of our state.
Experts estimate there might be as much as 50 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas beneath Pennsylvania's soil. That would make our commonwealth the Saudi Arabia of natural gas and, if managed correctly, transform our economy. Tom Wolf believes Marcellus Shale must be a key component of any plan for Pennsylvania's economic future.

He then repeats the line about "responsible drilling"--an oxymoron if ever there was. Wolf offers a bit of balm in the direction of "community control" with respect to zoning. Note--he stops short of using fancy language like "rights."

So what can we derive from this little tour through the frack-rhetoric of our candidates for governor of the Commonwealth?

It's not just that there's really no substantive difference between their claims and Corbett's.

It's not just that they plainly don't see the connections I have laid out above between fracking--and every other issue facing Pennsylvanians. 

It's not even that they clearly do not see beyond the futures of their own immediate political careers to the larger issues facing the globe with respect to climate change.

It's that while they claim to represent a choice between two parties for governor--at least on this vital issue--they don't, even though  effective action and policy on every other issue depends it.  

So--here's your real choice if you're a Democrat:

Four frack-wolves in sheep's clothing bleeting about regulation, severance taxes, oversight, jobs, prosperity....bleh bleh bleh.

Or, Tom Corbett--the wolf in the wolf outfit.

Not very encouraging, is it?

So here's what you can do: 


On every issue from education to health care, from soup to nuts, I'll bet the Green Party is closer to your worldview as an anti-fracking, pro-renewables, progressive.

And on the most important issue facing Pennsylvanians--facing humanity--extreme fossil fuel extraction, the Green Party offers you the single most significant, morally defensible, solidly clear platform you're going to see in this election: 


So--you're smart. You're politically savvy. You know the facts. You care about your future. You care about your kid's futures.

Don't make me do another expose about where candidates get their money, or spell out what their crazy ideological and/or religious commitments. 
Photo, Wendy Lynne Lee




Friday, March 21, 2014

Anadarko Liquidates Public Lands for Private Profits: Marcellus Shale Earth First Fights for All of Us at Tiadaghton

As reported by Marie Cusick, NPR-State Impact:

A group of environmental activists has chained themselves to concrete barrels in an effort to block access to an Anadarko Petroleum drilling site in Lycoming County, [Tiadaghton State Forest] according to a spokesman for the group.
 Marcellus Shale EarthFirst spokesman Mathew Louis-Rosenberg says between eight to ten activists were involved and two have been arrested so far.
“Folks blockading access to the wellpad were in place before people showed up for work,” he says. “Workers were unable to access the site" (Environmental activists block access to Lycoming County drilling site | StateImpact Pennsylvania).

Tiadaghton, Wendy Lynne Lee

A more complete picture, however is offered by Marcellus Shale Earth First:

"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" (Marcellus Shale EF!ers Held at $57,000 Bail | Earth First! Newswire).

The EarthFirst! action is in response to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett's "executive order to open Pennsylvania’s remaining public lands for hydraulic fracturing," including Tiadaghton State Forest and Loyalsock State Forest's Clarence Moore Lands. While after stopping all operations at the Dam Run Road site for four hours the lock-down activists were finally removed by state police (who noted their politeness), clearing access to the site took at least two more hours (Marcellus Shale EF!ers Held at $57,000 Bail | Earth First! Newswire).

Here's the Youtube: ▶ Gas Well Protest on Dam Run Road - YouTube

While the direct action protest continued at Dam Run Road, the growing protest against extreme extraction in Tiadaghton made its public debut in front of the Anadarko Pennsylvania headquarters in Williamsport.

But that's just a cursory summary of the facts, and the facts can't contain the meaning, the courage, and the commitment of the Marcellus Shale EarthFirst! action. Though some--and far too many--would be willing to characterize as "terrorist" nonviolent civil disobedience--even first amendment protected freedom of expression--what we know inside this movement to resist extreme fossil fuel extraction is that meaningful change is not going to be accomplished through, say, sitting down with the gas industry and asking them not to destroy our water, our communities, and our public and private lands. 


In the tradition of every movement for civil liberty, the equal rights of minorities and women, the human rights of indigenous peoples--and now the most fundamental right of all, the right to drink clean water and breathe clean air, the members of this movement must engage every nonviolent constitutionally protected means of resistance at its disposal. And that was the principle which governed this cold, blustery day in rural Pennsylvania--folks fighting for their lives and all of our lives.

As I put it to the reporter from the Williamsport Sun Gazette: "We want to see it stopped everywhere because it is destroying our communities and because it's destroying our water...stopping companies like Anadarko, who have a history of environmental ethics violations, is crucial to protecting forested areas.." 
Photograph, Wendy Lynne Lee

I added that consistent with the position taken by the Shale Justice Coalition, of whom Marcellus Shale Earth First! is a proud member (Shale Justice), our resistance to extreme extraction was aimed not only at protecting forests, but "every special place" including our yards, our homes, and all of our public lands (Anti-fracking crowd uses logs, pipe to block Dam Run Road - | News, Sports, Jobs, Community Information - Williamsport-Sun Gazette).

It's really pretty simple:

  • Given an industry whose record of egregious ecological and resource liquidation is demonstrably un-regulable, and who effectively drafts its own laws through the collusion of elected state senators and representatives,
  • Given a government demonstrably beholden to that industry-- more interested in insuring the revolving door fortunes of its elected representatives as well as amassing largesse in the form of influence and off-shore bank deposits,
  • Given a state police appropriated as the private security force of that industry--an industry who can deploy its agents to the homes of private citizens without warrant and without cause (THE WRENCH: WHEN THE NATURAL GAS INDUSTRY USES THE STATE POLICE AND THE FBI JOINT TERRORISM TASK FORCE TO SILENCE A CITIZEN: OFFICER MIKE HUTSON AT MY DOOR, 2.14.14.),
  • Given a state history saturated in the coal dust, acid mine run-off, industry hegemony, and political corruption of its past,
  • Given a media--at virtually every level, local, state, national-- controlled by the industries that bank-roll its programming...

it's no wonder that folks are bamboozled by the flag-wavin', fear-mongerin', lie-a-minute bull shit from companies like Anadarko Petroleum. In fact, it's a wonder that more folks aren't acquiescent drones. 

Fact is, if we weren't making real headway getting out the facts about fracking, industry-promo-drones like James Asbury of the gas rag The Drillin' Man (Protest in Williamsport | The Drill'N Manwould have nothing to do. Although he's slim on facts and long on making claims for which he has zero independent support, the Drillin' Man does know his job description: manufacture anxiety in folks by encouraging them to see as an act of violence the exercise of Constitutionally protected non-violent freedom of expression. Then, gain access to gas industry representatives by making them think you've got insider knowledge about things like "movement plans" you manifestly do not have. Lastly, act as a pseudo-snitch to the state police about said "plans and strategies." In other words, Asbury fancies himself as a sort of self-selected special agent protecting the public from the dangerous activists.

To bad he can't get his facts straight--case in point: In his "intelligencer" about the Marcellus Shale Earth First action, he says that "gas protesters had set up shop in the Loyalsock national forest." 

He's got the forest wrong; it was Tiadaghton.

Then he "quotes" a gas station attendant as referring to the activists as "[e]co-activists or eco-terrorists depending on who you ask,"and then goes on allegedly to say that he "thought some of them were going to go at it here in the store” referring to an oil man who’d walked into the shop a few moments after some of the protestors came in" (Protest in Williamsport | The Drill'N Man). Asbury describes the protesters as "huddling" outside the federal building on 3rd street, Williamsport, and he claims to quote an Anadarko contractor who referred to the protesters as "unspooled."
Photo, Wendy Lynne Lee

But the Drillin' Man supplies no corroborating evidence that any of this was said, no location for the alleged gas station, no names, nothing. Moreover, "huddling" no more describes what we were doing that does "eco-terrorism." fact is, we have no reason to believe he's no just making this up out of whole cloth, and--keep reading--very good reason to think that he is.

In his excellent piece for American Prospect, The Shale Rebellion, Barry Yeoman writes of a meeting he had with Asbury in Williamsport:

Only one moment from our interview disquiets me. On the second night, as we sit down with our beers, Asbury says, “So I heard you spent some time with Wendy Lee.” I hadn’t mentioned the professor the previous night. I ask how he knows. “I have contacts with every waitress and every…”—here he pauses—“I’ve got everybody pegged. I know crap about people that they don’t know about themselves. Nothing gets done in this business without…”—another pause—“there are double spies and double agents." (The Shale Rebellion | The American Prospect)
Now it is just plain creepy that Asbury knew Yeoman had me on his interview list. And few with any sense doubt that there exist info-delivery moles within the anti-fracking movement. After all, just consider the largesse and power that's at stake. But if Asbury had "everybody pegged" he absolutely wouldn't be bragging about it to an investigative reporter. Double agents don't blow their cover. And he'd refrain from telling whoppers about which no other agency has reported like this one from the Anadarko protest: 

As DM [Drillin' Man] left the area- an odd thing stood out.An military looking vehicle was seen pulling away from the area-  the number of police and guards on hand clearly showed a  higher than normal level of defense. (Protest in Williamsport | The Drill'N Man).
This is just one more rather labored attempt to manufacture anxiety about ecoterrorism--where there is no such threat, and to legitimate  visits from officers like Mike Hutson--where there is no reason for the "visit."

So why does this little story about Asbury matter here? 

Because we in the movement need to comprehend as clearly as we can the strategies being deployed to discredit us, to arrest us on false/faulty grounds, to harass us, to intimidate us, and to ultimately silence us. 

While the Drillin Man is certainly small potatoes, he represents a kind of "career" for opportunists looking to cash in on whatever hysteria they can help to create over a controversial issue. I don't know that Asbury actually even cares all that much about natural gas extraction. Like, say Energy in Depth's Joe Massaro--also quoted by Yeoman in The Shale Rebellion--whose says he's "heard stories about pipe bombs" but doesn't think the industry needs to worry about Lee (connecting me to pipe bombs but seeming to deny it--nice), Asbury wants to make sure he stays on the industry radar as a source of information. 

Whether he's got any or not.

What Asbury does know is what the industry knows--and we all know:

More and more folks are beginning to see for themselves the cynical, mercenary, and breathlessly greedy character of companies like Anadarko, companies whose true colors aren't even the green of dollar bills, but shades of drilling mud, barren hillside, that nasty red rash you can't seem to get rid of, the headaches, the explosions, the leaks, the loss of public lands.

So, just in case you might still be thinking that the folks who protested are misdirected, or that the citizens who tethered themselves to cement for the sake of protecting your forests are somehow guilty of a crime, how about a few more facts about just how much Anadarko cares about folks like you and me:

3.21.14, Reported by Bloomburg, concerning the "worst off-shore oil spill in U.S. history--the Deep water Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, "Anadarko Emails Seen Showing Spill Role Ignored By Judge":

A BP executive and a geologist working on the Macondo well rejected Anadarko’s urging to deepen the well, according to e-mails sent the week before the April 2010 deep-sea blowout. BP officials said in the e-mails, unsealed earlier this month in lawsuits over the spill, that the well’s condition “provided for little to no margin to continue drilling” safely.
In other words, Anadarko knew that drilling deeper offered "little to no margin to continue drilling” safely," and insisted that BP drill anyways. Moreover, 

Anadarko, which owned a 25 percent stake in the Macondo well, off the Louisiana coast, contends it was a passive investor and can’t be held liable for pollution fines from the spill, which sent more than 4 million barrels of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, closing fisheries and tainting shorelines from Texas to Florida.
That is, the only thing Anadarko was interested in was avoiding liability--and the hefty fines that might go with that.

John Christiansen, an Anadarko spokesman, declined to comment on the e-mails other than to refer to the company’s annual report filed Feb. 28. Given its “lack of direct operational involvement” and Barbier’s ruling that it wasn’t negligent during the drilling operation, the company said it believed its exposure to penalties under the Clean Water Act wouldn’t materially affect it. (Anadarko E-Mails Seen Showing Spill Role Ignored by Judge - Bloomberg).

Colorado, 9.18.13: 

 A damaged storage tank owned by energy company Anadarko Petroleum Corp. has spilled an estimated 125 barrels of oil into the flood-swollen South Platte River in north-central Colorado, the state oil and gas commission said on Wednesday. The statement provided few details of the spill beyond saying that the mishap occurred near the town of Milliken north of the confluence of the St. Vrain and South Platte rivers, and that Anadarko was responding by deploying absorbent booms on the river. (Colorado Oil Spill: Anadarko Petroleum Corp. Storage Tank Spills Into South Platte River).

And, of course, let's not forget that Anadarko is Kerr-McGee. As I described in an earlier excoriation, quoting from Bloomberg (Anadarko Fights Ailing Preacher in $25 Billion EPA Toxic Lawsuit - Bloomberg)

The U.S. Department of Justice, in a lawsuit on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency and other environmental and state agencies, says Kerr-McGee fouled 2,772 sites, including Columbus, during seven decades of producing chemicals, fertilizer and plutonium pellets. The lawsuit, scheduled for trial beginning May 15, seeks $25 billion to clean up the toxins and compensate tort claimants — or the people who say they’ve been personally harmed. “That is by far the biggest polluter on record,” says David Guest, an attorney with nonprofit law firm Earthjustice. “This is an almost unprecedented case in terms of how much money is in play.” Trouble is, Kerr-McGee no longer exists. It disappeared in a spinoff, a merger — into Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC) — and a bankruptcy, corporate maneuvers that have frustrated small-town residents across the country who say the pollution has ruined their health. (Anadarko Fights Ailing Preacher in $25 Billion EPA Toxic Lawsuit – Bloomberg) (Of Aristotle and Anadarko: Why “Better Laws” Will Never be Enough | Raging Chicken Press)

But if all that's too far from home to get you really worked up, consider just a few Pennsylvania counties. From the highly respected Environmental Integrity Project:

According to the Oil and Gas Compliance Report, PA DEP conducted 2,928 inspections of 488 wells operated by Anadarko E&P Onshore, LLC (Anadarko E&P) between 2009 and 2013.30 In that same five-year span, PA DEP conducted 72 inspections of facilities operated by Anadarko Marcellus Midstream, LLC (Anadarko Midstream).31 From these inspections, PA DEP identified 246 violations: 207 at Anadarko E&P sites and 39 at Anadarko Midstream sites.32

By county, the highest number of violations occurred in Lycoming County, with 112 violations, followed by Clinton County with 70 violations, Centre County with 16 violations, and 48 violations with the county not indicated.33

Table 3: Anadarko Citations by Violation Category (2009-2013)

Violation Type Citations

Discharge of pollutants to waters of Commonwealth & discharge-related violations: 87

Failure to properly store or manage wastes or pollutants: 77

Failure to minimize erosion or stabilize/restore site: 21

Failure to post permit/authorization: 27

Well casing violations: 17

Miscellaneous noncompliance: 9

Failure to submit or maintain records on site: 5

Failure to notify DEP of pollution incident: 3

Total 246

Photograph, Wendy Lynne Lee

Upshot: Anadarko is among the top three environmental violators in Pennsylvania.

Do you really think that that nasty record is going to get any better if export facilities--like that planned for Cove Point, Maryland--become operational? 

Not if you're sane.

Danielle Dietterick, spokeswoman for Marcellus Shale Earth First! at the Anadarko headquarters in Williamsport put the crucial point beautifully when she characterized the actions as an "escalation of tactics" "intended to raise awareness of Anadarko's drilling activities."

Photo, Wendy Lynne Lee
"We're here to say that we have not forgotten the things they have done, we're not afraid, we're going to keep coming back until we get our message across" (Anti-fracking crowd uses logs, pipe to block Dam Run Road - | News, Sports, Jobs, Community Information - Williamsport-Sun Gazette).

I'd add only this: "until Anadarko, and every other gas company leave Pennsylvania, or for that matter, leave everywhere."

Count me in with the resistance.

Wendy Lynne Lee

Full Flickr set: The Courage the Movement to End Extreme Extraction Cannot Be Without: Demonstration Against Anadarko, Williamsport,3.20.14 - a set on Flickr

For pieces on Anadarko in the Loyalsock, see:

Of Aristotle and Anadarko: Why “Better Laws” Will Never be Enough | Raging Chicken Press