Today, in response to the emergency call out yesterday, a crew of five organizers from Ithaca headed down to Riverdale Mobile Home Park. Riverdale community members and supporters have been standing their ground for the past 12 days, after natural gas company Aqua America attempted to force residents from their homes. Aqua America purchased the land where these families live and intends to build a water extraction site in place of their homes.
An email I sent out today about solidarity with the Riverdale Mobile Home Park, targets of forceful eviction by the fracking industry.
Hey Fractivists and Friends,
I’m writing you this email to let you know about an amazing opportunity to confront the fracking industry and show them that they cannot target our communities without serious opposition. Today, I drove down to Jersey Shore, PA where Aqua America is trying to forcibly displace residents of the Riverdale Mobile Home Park to make way for a new 3 million gallon a day water withdrawal plant, crucial infrastructure for the Pennsylvania hydraulic fracturing industry. For four days, about 40 residents and allies are have been blockading the entrances to the community, fighting the construction that threatens to raze their community and they need our help!
Take that SRBC! Rivers belong to the people, not the politicians in the pockets of Gas Companies.
Calling all Earth First!ers, forest defenders and rural folks! The 2012 Round River Rendezvous is on the horizon.
July 1-7, 2012
Location to be announced when the time is right.
In more than fifteen states across the country, battles are being waged by
rural folks every single day for the right to have clean water. Our water
is being polluted by a flood of hundreds of corporations and subsidiaries
engaged in a resource boom, no less destructive than the timber and coal
booms that swept through the Appalachian Mountains in the 1800s and early
1900s. This new boom is being brought to the doorsteps of farmers,
conservationists and rural communities across the country by corporations
engaged in a specific type of natural gas extraction known as hydraulic
Some key points from the Film Gasland by Josh Fox.
It is happening all across America-rural landowners wake up one day to find a lucrative offer from an energy company wanting to lease their property. Reason? The company hopes to tap into a reservoir dubbed the “Saudi Arabia of natural gas.” Halliburton developed a way to get the gas out of the ground-a hydraulic drilling process called “fracking” - and suddenly America finds itself on the precipice of becoming an energy superpower.
Aside from the fact that Gasland focuses extensively on Josh Fox and is vaugely problematic in its use of people, its a great movie for learning about fracking. Watch it if you haven’t already.
Activists settle in for long-term occupation of toxic new industry which threatens the West Country
The controversial proposed Fracking site in Hesketh Bank, Lancashire was shut down this morning as 8 Bristol cyclists stormed the drilling rig. Three of the climate justice campaigners from Bristol Rising Tide scaled the Cuadrilla Resources equipment with supplies and have declared their intention to stop work for several days.
The drilling rig is the only operation of it’s kind working in the country, after a similar exploratory site in Blackpool was shut down in the spring because it induced two earthquakes in the area.
Liz Sparks, a spokesperson for Bristol Rising Tide, explained the potential dangers of fracking in the South West:
“Large parts of Wales, Devon, Somerset and Dorest are potentially under threat from this desperate new technology, which involves extracting the gas in shale rock through Hydraulic Fracturing, (or fracking). Huge amounts of water mixed with toxic chemicals are forced into the ground at high pressure, a large proportion of which are never recovered. This fluid also leaches arsenic out of rocks, creating a dangerous cocktail that’s difficult to dispose of. In the United states numerous spills of these fluids have contaminated irrigation water, effecting food supplies, and the health of surrounding communities.”
The same site was occupied last month by another group- “Frack Off”, and local community resistance across the country is gaining ground.
Paul Williams, who works in a Bristol Library, was among the protestors. He commented:
"People simply aren’t going to stand by and let this crazy extreme sneak into our landscape. We’ve been inspired by the remarkable work of our neighbors in Wales. Glamorgan county council recently voted unanimously against an application to Frack the area. This decision was influenced by Welsh Water’s submission that reserve groundwater sites are at risk of contamination. We can stop this before it starts if we act now. If you want earthquakes, runaway climate change, contaminated water, and a threat to agricultural production then Fracking’s the way forward. If you want energy security and more jobs per kilowatt hour, go with renewables. It’s a no brainer."
The industry is quick to point to the US experience of fracking, but their safety record there is on increasingly shaky ground. New York State has just instituted a moratorium against fracking, as has Quebec, Canada. France has banned it outright, as has New Jersey in the US.
NYS has not issued a moratorium, they are in the middle of creating regulations to allow drilling…. Also, all i want to do is shut down a fracking rig over winter break. NE PA here I come!