19 Arrested Protesting Gas Storage in Salt Caverns, Including Famed Chef Tony Del Plato
In a peaceful act of civil disobedience against the proposed gas storage that highlighted the climate crisis, 19 people formed a human chain shortly after sunrise this morning at the north entrance of Crestwood Midstream on Route 14. They blocked two tanker trucks attempting to enter the facility. Among the blockaders were Tony Del Plato, famed chef and co-owner of the Moosewood Restaurant and the Reverend Lesley Adams, retired chaplain of Hobart and William Smith Colleges and current resident of Schuyler County.
Schuyler County deputies arrested the 19 protestors shortly after 7 a.m. as they read aloud from Pope Francis’ recent encyclical letter on climate change, “On Care for Our Common Home.” All were taken into custody, charged with trespassing and released.
— We Are Seneca Lake (@WeAreSenecaLake) August 18, 2015
To illustrate the contribution of natural gas to global warming, blockaders held banners that read “Methane = Climate Crisis” and “Climate Defenders Against Crestwood.” A seven-foot replica of the Encyclical was also part of the blockade.
Today’s arrests bring the total number of arrests to 359 in the 10-month-old civil disobedience campaign.
Their recitation from the Pontifical document continued the reading that began on June 30 and has continued throughout the summer.
None of the protesters this morning had been previously arrested as part of the We Are Seneca Lake movement, which opposes Crestwood’s plans for gas storage in lakeside salt caverns and which has been ongoing since October 2014.
“Scientists tell us that 350 parts per million is the upper limit for carbon dioxide if we want a stable climate for food production,” said Moosewood co-owner and chef, Tony Del Plato, 67, said, We have far surpassed 350. That’s an S.O.S. signal. Today, we surpassed 350 arrests at the gates of Crestwood. That’s an S.O.S. signal, too. Crestwood’s plans to store massive amounts of leaky methane here is a threat to water, food, climate and life itself.”
Earlier this month, the 19 owners of Ithaca’s famed Moosewood Restaurant joined a coalition of more than 340 Finger Lakes businesses and municipalities in opposition to Crestwood.