Croatan Earth First! Locks Down NC DENR For Complicity In Fracking

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Online Gallery of Pictures:

Seven members of Croatan Earth First! and participants from our Piedmont Direct Action Camp locked together today, barricading the front of North Carolina’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) building in downtown Raleigh. Providing physical, active resistance against fracking in North Carolina, CEF! has chosen DENR for an action as they are responsible for helping legalize fracking, and will be responsible for regulating it. They have also hired a corrupt Mining and Energy Commission board, which includes people with vested interests in hydraulic fracturing occuring. We are letting them know that this farce won’t stand! No compromise in defense of Mother Earth!

In addition, a sizeable demonstration was being held around the lock down, with several large banners, signs, literature, etc. Police actively cleared the site, and closed off the road, labeling the entire block a crime scene. Press was being prevented from approaching the site.  In a negotiation made with the police, press was allowed inside to do interviews and take photos if the blockaders agreed to unlock later. The protesters decided to unlock as a tactical decision to walk away without arrests and save our legal funds for future events.  After the action the blockaders and about 30 others went on a unpermitted march through Raleigh to the state capital building.


Monday October 22, 2012

Croatan Earth First! Locks Down NC DENR For Complicity In Fracking

Raleigh, NC – This morning multiple people locked themselves to the front of the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources headquarters at 217 W. Jones St. in protest of the state’s continued path towards the legalization of hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) for natural gas.  Environmentalists across the state have organized and campaigned against hydrofracking legislation for over a year, which resulted in a veto of SB 820 this past summer by Beverly Perdue.  The legislature overrode the veto shortly after during a controversial vote in which a mistaken ballot was cast for legalization, and the voter was refused a recast.

“All legal channels of protest have been exhausted,” says Earth First!er Emily Smith at the rally outside the action.  “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 hydrofracking. “   This past Spring NC DENR released a report that grossly underestimated the possible environmental risks of fracking.  Since then, they have been working with the newly formed Mining and Energy Commission which includes several members that are closely linked to oil & gas: Ray Covington, a partner at NC Oil & Gas, who profits financially from an increase in leased lands for fracking; Chairman Jim Womack, a Lee County Commissioner and an oil industry supporter who claimed at a DENR public meeting that you were more likely to be hit by a meteor than have water contaminated by fracking; and Charles Holbrook a former employee of Chevron Oil.

“Having people who support and benefit from oil and gas extraction on a regulatory commission is like a fox guarding the henhouse.”  The EPA recently released a study that confirmed contamination of the water aquifer in Pavillion, Wyoming with fracking fluids, but DENR has done nothing to modify their report.  “We’re not going to let industry destroy North Carolina like they have Pennsylvania,” says Smith referring  to the numerous spills that have occurred in the highly fracked Marcellus Shale—including 4,700 gallons of hydrochloric acid spilled this year in Bradford County and a 30-foot methane geyser which erupted in Tioga county, PA.  A blowout at one of Chesapeake Energy’s rigs in Wyoming this year burned escaping methane for several days and more than 70 residents had to be evacuated.  “Fracking is not only contaminating our land and water irreversibly, but it’s spewing massive amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere.”

Today’s action came about after The Piedmont Direct Action camp which occurred this past weekend in Pittsboro, NC and taught direct action skills to roughly 100 people.  For more information see

Other Mainstream Coverage from Channel 5:

6 responses to “Croatan Earth First! Locks Down NC DENR For Complicity In Fracking

  1. You guys are great! I guess the action camp went well. And look there are new faces!

  2. Pingback: Croatan Earth First! Locks Down NC DENR For Complicity In Fracking | Internationalist Books and Community Center

  3. Pingback: Croatan Earth First! Locks Down NC DENR For Complicity In Fracking « Internationalist Prison Books Collective

  4. croatanearthfirst

    I’d like to repost this persons comment from the N & O article, because it has a lot of good information in it that we’ve been discussing for quite a while, below:

    Sometimes it takes extreme measures to get the attention of the masses. Can’t blame these activists for their actions since it did get the media’s attention, thereby maybe drawing in a few readers to look at the issue of how we try to tap one natural resource (natural gas) at the expense of another (massive volumes of water for operational use). These folks cite water contamination by fracking. I’ve been fighting for many yrs to raise the public’s awareness on water quality issues , too but have yet to physically chain myself to a structure.

    Just wish concerned people would look deeper into water quality issues & past/present of what adversely affects our most precious natural resource. Here’s a short list & an offer for anyone who wants to compare notes w/ me:
    1. PCS Phosphate mining operation in Aurora (which I’m suing) – after 50+ yrs, the water all along our eastern coast is toxic (compounding the problems of compromising our groundwater in/near our military bases like Camp Lejeune), over pumping of aquifers has led to mandated Capacity Use Area (CUA) reduction of groundwater draw down which means less water for everyone, sweet deal between PCS & Eagle Water to sell water being used for pumping operations BACK to people upstream, ‘stuff’ being dumped down the big hole (like whole train cars filled w/ barrels, cement trucks, etc), & oh yeah, land subsidence creating a cone of depression (think ‘big swamp sink hole in state of LA‘) which is confirmed by many USGS reports. This last thing cited was a big ingredient in the birth of Sea Level Rise issue that had our legislators cussin’.

    2. Sludge (aka bio solid) spreading – City of Burlington (home to one of biggest testing facilities, Labcorp) contracts w/ Synagro (subsidiary of Carlyle Group) to take solid waste to spread around nearly all of NC’s counties. Not only is it human waste but medical & industrial waste being spread on farmland. What was our granddaddy’s fertilizer has now morphed into toxic sludge.

    3. Uranium mining/milling up in state of VA – Betcha’ many aren’t even aware of the huge fight up in Danville area where Virginia Uranium Inc (VUI) is trying hard to lift the ban on mining in order to pull out new yellowcake in one of the largest deposits in our country. Guess where a lot of NC headwaters originate?! And that deposit doesn’t magically stop at the state line, it extends further south into NC.

    Like I said, this is a ‘short list’ & other issues like the ‘pay-2-play’ political corruption game (both sides of aisle) & big biz w/ deep pockets muddies up the water even more. I’m a biz man, an entrepreneur (founder of Great Mistakes catalog clothing retail chain) & a rare conservative who recognizes the importance of protecting what’s left of our natural resources. I became an outside whistleblower w/ my own unconventional ways of chasing the crooks out of their ivory towers & welcome anyone who wants to share research/discovery, resources & join forces to make a difference. There’s more strength in numbers & yes, dreamers CAN change the world.

    Dale Swiggett
    Waterfront Sportsman & the Environmental Investigation Coalition

    Read more here:

  5. Pingback: Croatan Earth First! Locks Down Against Fracking « Earth First! Newswire

  6. Soo much love to you Earth First ‘ers for your anti Fracking action. We have got to stop those evil planet destroyers.
    Fracking Gasholes singalong
    5 million gallons injected per well
    aquifers wasted, tastes like hell
    for all the life that loves to live
    demand a law, kill the drill

    fracking gasholes
    we know you know
    a million reasons
    fah fah freako

    80 tons of co2 per well
    ice caps melting, climate hell
    for all the kids that love to live
    shout, march, or souls we sell

    fracking gasholes
    we know you know
    for hundreds of years
    they really blow (brutal/ sucky)

    2 thousand big truck trips per well
    dusty growling beasts of hell
    for all the critters that love to live
    block the roads, or bid farewell

    friggen frackholes
    everyone knows
    for a thousand species
    sii sii sicko (yu yu yucko vicious)

    14 tons of poisons per well
    toxic soil and air, smells like hell
    for all the life that loves to live
    conserve, reduce, to save ourselves

    fracking gasholes
    we know you know
    for a million reasons
    we must say no no no
    no no no no no

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