Anti-drilling protesters chain selves to DENR offices

Posted October 22, 2012

— Several people opposed to natural gas drilling in North Carolina chained themselves to the entrance of state environmental offices in downtown Raleigh on Monday.

The protesters, members of the radical Earth First! environmental movement, said North Carolina's move toward hydraulic fracturing to obtain natural gas would endanger the state's environment and residents.

"All legal channels of protest have been exhausted,” protester Emily Smith said in a statement. “We’ve learned that the legislature and regulators will not protect the water we drink and air we breathe. It’s time for the public to take other types of action to stop hydro-fracking."

The drilling process, commonly referred to as "fracking," involves horizontal drilling into underground shale deposits and then pumping a high-pressure mix of water and chemicals into the well to break apart the rock and release its trapped natural gas.

At least a half-dozen people were blocking the doors of the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources headquarters on West Jones Street. State Capitol Police blocked off Jones Street for more than an hour as officers waited for the protest to disband.

The protesters began to leave peacefully shortly after noon.

State lawmakers approved legislation over Gov. Beverly Perdue's veto in June to open North Carolina to drilling in as little as two years. A Mining and Energy Commission appointed this summer is drawing up regulations for the industry, which must be approved by the General Assembly before permits can be issued.

The protesters complained that commission was filled with drilling advocates, and they said a DENR study issued last spring underestimated the risks of fracking. They noted the process has caused environmental problems elsewhere.

"We’re not going to let industry destroy North Carolina like they have Pennsylvania," Smith said.


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  • piene2 Oct 23, 2012

    "Protesting a waste of time, you will always lose

    Do you mean as we, "lost" as a result of the civil rights protests during the sixties?

  • fatchanceimwrong Oct 23, 2012

    WooHoo2You - to expand: Kinda like Michael Moore producing a movie against capitalism and then profiting from the ticket sales...which is guess what...capitalism.

  • WooHoo2You Oct 23, 2012

    I assume these people do not drive or ride in cars or airplanes, that they walk or bicycle everywhere they go and they heat their homes with wood - no wait, not wood, that would require cutting down a tree - they must be using all that solar and wind power that Obama is "investing" in.-heisenberg

    Sounds like the Tea Party protesting taxes on government property paid for with taxes, security provided by government employed police whose salary is paid for in taxes, using roads built with tax money to get there, and running for an office they would get paid with taxpayer money….funny eh?

  • heisenberg Oct 23, 2012

    I assume these people do not drive or ride in cars or airplanes, that they walk or bicycle everywhere they go and they heat their homes with wood - no wait, not wood, that would require cutting down a tree - they must be using all that solar and wind power that Obama is "investing" in.

  • sczarnecki Oct 23, 2012

    Protesting a waste of time, you will always lose

  • Luvthesky Oct 23, 2012

    @piene2..Well said. IMO,the folks who support Fracking are most often the same people living beyond their financial means, driving the most expensive cars and thinking that they can buy happiness and a new environment once the one that we have is destroyed. As long as our society keeps living this "me me only me" lifestyle, the corruption is going to keep getting worse. What is that saying...Money is the root of all evil...makes sense to me.

  • piene2 Oct 23, 2012

    "Stop jeopardizing OUR health for YOUR money!

    Ruin someone else's planet for your profits, Republicans!

    What is the big deal? When we trash the environment we can just go out and get another one. Oh, ah, mmmm, uh, wait a minute, I forgot something. There is one and only one environment and after we trash it, there is no going back. Well, what the heck, the air can become foul, the earth can become toxic and the oceans can become barren chemical waste dumps. Who cares? We will not be around to see it anyway. It matters not to us that our decedents will live a life of misery and die young. As I said, we will not be around to see it and the only thing that matters to us is that we will be able to drive our huge truckee things and leave a trail of filth behind us wherever we go.

  • maewyn2 Oct 23, 2012

    We already have so much Natural gas its not profitable to get it, so why are they going into try hard mode to get it?

  • maewyn2 Oct 23, 2012

    Sounds to me like they are trying to get at the Natural Gas under my land, without my permission. Back in the day that was a good way to play catch with lead. Just good old fashioned theivery.

  • WooHoo2You Oct 22, 2012

    "That’s not what the National Academy of Sciences (you will call them a ‘liberal group’ because you can’t refute their study) said….

    Story: http://www.salon.com/2012/07/09/confirmed_fracking_can_pollute/"

    Did you read the article? It's says in the article you have quoted that, " The study doesn’t prove that fracking fluid has traveled up to aquifers of drinking water."

    Kinda of funny, you quote that article, and it states that it doesnt PROVE it. try again.- Crayzee1

    No scientist can "prove" gravity...try again!