Quantcast

150 Protest at New York's Schlumberger Frack Facility

Energy

Shaleshock Direct Action Working Group

On Aug. 11, More than 150 people protested fracking at the Schlumberger facility in Horsehead, NY.

More than 150 protesters of all ages blockaded the Schlumberger Limited industrial facility in Horseheads, NY for nearly six hours today stopping operations at this twenty-four-seven plant that provides services and materials, including chemicals and silica sand, to oil and natural gas exploration companies, including hydraulic fracturing. More than 20 protesters were prepared to risk arrest by blockading trucks from entering the single-entry gate into the facility, but the peaceful protest ended in no arrests when the protestors left on their own volition after they reached their goal of closing down the plant for the day.

Schlumberger is the world’s largest oilfield services company with U.S. headquarters in Texas. The company has a revenue of $39.54 billion and currently operates in 85 countries. Schlumberger’s history is fraught with offenses all over the world. One violation occurred in 2009 when 295-gallons of hydrochloric acid spilled at the Chesapeake’s Chancellor well site in Asylum Township, Bradford County.

Schlumberger has refused to disclose the fracking chemicals that are stored at the Horseheads facility. However they not required to do so by law due to the Halliburton Loophole—a 2005 Bush/Cheney energy bill that exempts natural gas drilling from the Safe Drinking Water Act, preventing companies from having to disclose the chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing.

According to organizers, the purpose of today's action was threefold: to physically prevent fracking-related processes from taking place for a period of time, to show the public, industry and legislators that Southern Tier residents will stop at nothing to impede fracking, and to empower one another to use their bodies as a direct means of halting industry that continues to put profits over human health and the environment.

“Direct action is about directly confronting fracking at its source—industrial facilities. We cannot rely on politicians, many of whom are in industry’s pocket, to keep us safe. We have to stand up to this profit-mongering industry and shut them down ourselves. We have the right and responsibility to defend our land, water and communities in every way possible,” said Nell Gagnon, one of the organizers. 

Though hydro-fracking has not yet begun in New York, Schlumberger currently operates in neighboring Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania residents spoke at the rally today, sharing stories of how fracking has made them and their families sick.

Reports have suggested that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is considering allowing fracking in five Southern Tier Counties this fall, including Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Steuben and Tioga counties.

Sandra Steingraber spoke at the rally saying, “Fracking is a carcinogen-dependent process that destroys fresh water to blow up the bedrock under our feet in order to extract fossil fuels whose combustion is killing the planet and giving our kids asthma and increased risks for cancer and heart disease. As both a scientist and a mother, it is my job to say that clear air, safe water, and a stable climate are necessary for life. The anti-fracking movement is the civil rights movement of our time. And this action today is our lunch counter at Woolworth’s. This is our Greensboro moment. Governor Cuomo, which side are you on?”

Ruth Young, age 75, of Horseheads told the crowd, “Schumberger is blowing silica dust into the lungs of children in the elementary school, blowing silica dust into the lungs of children in the childcare center, blowing silica dust into the lungs of people in the residences to the north and east. When the wind shifts, [silica dust blows] directly into the center of the village…They store their chemicals here, they wash their vehicles here, they spill their silica dust all over the place here. Their workers are not dressed properly for working with toxic materials. Where was the DEC while this atrocity is going on? Protecting us? I don’t think so.”

Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Waterloo Bridge during the Extinction Rebellion protest in London. Martin Hearn / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Money talks. And today it had something to say about the impending global climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
Sam Cooper

By Sam Cooper

Thomas Edison once said, "I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power!"

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

Zero Waste Kitchen Essentials

Simple swaps that cut down on kitchen trash.

Sponsored

By Kayla Robbins

Along with the bathroom, the kitchen is one of the most daunting areas to try and make zero waste.

Read More Show Less
A NOAA research vessel at a Taylor Energy production site in the Gulf of Mexico in September 2018. NOAA

The federal government is looking into the details from the longest running oil spill in U.S. history, and it's looking far worse than the oil rig owner let on, as The New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less
Golde Wallingford submitted this photo of "Pure Joy" to EcoWatch's first photo contest. Golde Wallingford

EcoWatch is pleased to announce our third photo contest!

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Damage at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge from the 2016 occupation. USFWS

By Tara Lohan

When armed militants with a grudge against the federal government seized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in rural Oregon back in the winter of 2016, I remember avoiding the news coverage. Part of me wanted to know what was happening, but each report I read — as the occupation stretched from days to weeks and the destruction grew — made me so angry it was hard to keep reading.

Read More Show Less
Computer model projection of temperature anomalies across Europe on June 27. Temperature scale in °C. Tropicaltidbits.com

A searing heat wave has begun to spread across Europe, with Germany, France and Belgium experiencing extreme temperatures that are set to continue in the coming days.

Read More Show Less
Skull morphology of hybrid "narluga" whale. Nature / Mikkel Høegh Post

In the 1980s, a Greenlandic subsistence hunter shot and killed a whale with bizarre features unlike any he had ever seen before. He knew something was unique about it, so he left its abnormally large skull on top of his toolshed where it rested until a visiting professor happened upon it a few years later.

Read More Show Less