Activists Released on Bail After Protesting BP's Fracking Lease Event
Bail for two of the three protesters arrested for sounding the alarm on the BP land grab in Trumbull County was raised by supporters today. Jonathan Sidney, Annie Lukins and Jeremy Bingham shut down a lease-signing event yesterday, April 15. They were backed by two-dozen residents who wanted to alert landowners of the risks of leasing their land to a company with a proven track record of water contamination and willful safety violations, and the dangers of hydrofracking.
Lukins was released the morning of April 16, and Bingham and Sidney are expected to be released on bond later Monday evening. The three activists are set to appear in court this Thursday in Mahoning County.
Lukins, a Cleveland resident, held a press conference on the steps of the Mahoning County Jail, and then she rejoined protesters outside the leasing event at the former South Range Middle School in Greenford, Ohio.
“We’re showing that arresting us won’t make the problem go away. We won’t stop and we won’t allow the real criminals like BP to destroy Ohio like they did the Gulf coast. Safe fracking is a myth,” Lukins said.
Lukins and Bingham are committed to stopping hydrofracking in Ohio, a process known to cause surface and groundwater contamination, that is rapidly spreading throughout the state. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), currently, there are 47 horizontal wells drilled in Ohio; the ODNR estimates that by the end of 2012, we will have approximately 250 horizontal wells drilled; by the end of 2013, approximately 750 horizontal wells will be drilled; by the end of 2014, approximately 1,500 horizontal wells will be drilled, and by the end of 2015, approximately 2,250 horizontal wells will be drilled.
Last fall the two blockaded an injection well in Youngstown where toxic wastewater, a byproduct of fracking, was being injected into the ground which was found to have caused the 12 earthquakes that hit the region last year. These wells were later shut down by the ODNR after a 4.0 magnitude earthquake struck Ohio's Northeast region on New Years Eve. Anti-fracking activists believe their actions impacted the states decision to put a moratorium on five of the suspected injection wells.
Many Northeast Ohio residents believe that the situation of fracking will only get worse if more land and companies with a track record as poor as BP's buy up land in Ohio.
“Just two years ago BP caused the largest oil spill in U.S. history, and destroyed a huge section of the Gulf Coast. Now they intend to frack 84,000 acres of land in Trumbull County without holding a single public hearing, and with absolutely no opportunity for residents to object," said Mary-Claire Erskine of Lorain County. "We cannot let Ohio become the next Gulf Coast. We want BP and other fracking companies to know that we will not give up until Ohio is safe from hydrofracking."
To read yesterday's article concerning the protest and three arrests, click here.
Here's a news report from WKBN-27:
At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.
Migratory beekeeping involves trucking millions of bees across the U.S. to pollinate different crops, including avocados and almonds. Timothy Paule II / Pexels / CC0<p>According to <a href="https://www.fromthegrapevine.com/israeli-kitchen/beekeeping-how-to-keep-bees" target="_blank">From the Grapevine</a>, American avocados also fully depend on bees' pollination to produce fruit, so farmers have turned to migratory beekeeping as well to fill the void left by wild populations.</p><p>U.S. farmers have become reliant upon the practice, but migratory beekeeping has been called exploitative and harmful to bees. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/10/health/avocado-almond-vegan-partner/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a> reported that commercial beekeeping may injure or kill bees and that transporting them to pollinate crops appears to negatively affect their health and lifespan. Because the honeybees are forced to gather pollen and nectar from a single, monoculture crop — the one they've been brought in to pollinate — they are deprived of their normal diet, which is more diverse and nourishing as it's comprised of a variety of pollens and nectars, Scientific American reported.</p><p>Scientific American added how getting shuttled from crop to crop and field to field across the country boomerangs the bees between feast and famine, especially once the blooms they were brought in to fertilize end.</p><p>Plus, the artificial mass influx of bees guarantees spreading viruses, mites and fungi between the insects as they collide in midair and crawl over each other in their hives, Scientific American reported. According to CNN, some researchers argue that this explains why so many bees die each winter, and even why entire hives suddenly die off in a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.</p>
Avocado and almond crops depend on bees for proper pollination. FRANK MERIÑO / Pexels / CC0<p>Salazar and other Columbian beekeepers described "scooping up piles of dead bees" year after year since the avocado and citrus booms began, according to Phys.org. Many have opted to salvage what partial colonies survive and move away from agricultural areas.</p><p>The future of pollinators and the crops they help create is uncertain. According to the United Nations, nearly half of insect pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, risk global extinction, Phys.org reported. Their decline already has cascading consequences for the economy and beyond. Roughly 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of all crops around the world depend on bees and other pollinators for free fertilization services worth billions of dollars, Phys.org noted. Losing wild and native bees could <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wild-bees-crop-shortage-2646849232.html" target="_self">trigger food security issues</a>.</p><p>Salazar, the beekeeper, warned Phys.org, "The bee is a bioindicator. If bees are dying, what other insects beneficial to the environment... are dying?"</p>
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