Marcellus Shale

Professional Protesters Coming to a Town Near You!

Mike Knapp
President of Knapp Acquisitions & Production
Publisher – Knapp Acquisitions & Production PA Shale Gas Blog

New York state is nearing the end of its ridiculous four year moratorium on natural gas development. Four years of depriving its residents of access to their Marcellus gas, while painfully subjecting them to watching their neighbors just across the border enjoy the great benefits of harvesting theirs. It’s excellent news for just about everyone who isn’t a “fractivist”. But as the situation becomes more dire for these anti-drilling extremists, so too are their actions.

The writing is now on the wall, in BIG. BOLD. LETTERS. Natural gas development is coming to New York, bringing with it desperate times for anti natural gas activists. New York is their last bastion of deception. A state with most of its population residing in major cities far away from the gas fields, where it’s easy to hoodwink an unknowing populace into believing the benefits of gas are too far away to benefit them, and that negative impacts will show up right at their kitchen faucets. It’s the only place (that actually has gas) where their “ban drilling” mantra has gained traction. Now, its slipping away. Their false narrative has failed and, as desperate people tend to do, they’ve turned to desperate measures, and they’re shipping in professional protestors from around the country to help.

Having no rigs to protest in the empire state, these out of state activists descended this week on Clearfield County, Pa., not at all far from my backyard. In a futile attempt to disrupt drilling operations (and garner media attention for themselves), a small group of a few dozen protestors piled up debris on an EQT access road and hung themselves up in trees in such a fashion that if a truck came through, it would cause them to come cascading back down to earth, from 75 feet up, most likely to their deaths.

The whole ordeal appears to have been planned by Earth First!, one of the most radical and callous groups of professional activists around. They pride themselves on putting their lives in jeopardy to make whatever the heck point they’re trying to make, and of course, putting the lives of law enforcement and others who have to deal with their sophomoric actions in jeopardy as well.  Three of them, including Hannah Morgan, 24, of Hartland, Vermont,(seen here fittingly dressed as a clown, harassing police officers in New York City, and being arrested) Michael Luurtsema, 27, of Elwood, Indiana, and Grace Pettygrove, 24, of Eugene, Oregon  were arrested by Pennsylvania State Police. All have arrest records that go back years, and span the country.

Never one to miss out on an opportunity to get in front of a camera, our old friend Alex Lotorto showed up as well. Alex the obnoxious, though mostly harmless kid who has taken to chanting to disrupt SRBC hearings, is taking his childish charade to a dangerous new level, putting peoples lives as risk.

From Enviro Politics blog:

One of the protesters, 25-year-old Alex Lotorto of Pike County, said two activists were sitting 75 feet in the air on a tree platform that had been connected to a cable stretched across the access road. If a truck or machine were to cross the cable and cut through it, the tree sitters would fall, Lotorto said. “Unfortunately, this is the extent we have to go to,” said Lotorto

Endangering the safety and well being of the folks punching their time card out on that rig is no big deal to Alex and his merry bunch of self-indulgent comrades. Thankfully, the good folks at the Pennsylvania State Police were on top of it.  They quickly procured a cherry picker, removed the protestors from the trees and cleared the road with a bulldozer.  It’s certainly not the first time that anti’s have taken the law into their own hands.  Just last year, someone took to shooting up one of our active drilling sites with a shotgun, just feet from the landowner’s home.

It’s an absolute shame that these folks are resorting to such tactics, but make no mistake about it:  It’s the beginning of the end.  Natural gas has the ringing endorsement of both Democrats and Republicans.  Everyone from Obama to Boehner is jumping on the natural gas bandwagon, a bandwagon that is quickly reaching terminal velocity, bringing with it jobs, cleaner energy, and increased domestic security.  Those who are opposed to drilling are being pushed further and further to the fringe. And rightly so.  Hopefully, the last desperate actions of these folks will come and go without any serious incidents, and they will quietly move on to their next cause of the week…but I wouldn’t bet money on it.

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