Quantcast
Energy

Does Homeland Security Think Fracktivists are Terrorists?

According to comments made by Mark Grawe, chief operating officer at EagleRidge Energy, Denton, TX residents who object to his company’s reckless operations way too close to their homesschools and parks are terrorists worthy of inclusion on the Department of Homeland Security’s watch list.

Wednesday night Grawe attended a home owners association meeting in Mansfield, TX where EagleRidge has drilled and fracked several wells very close to a neighborhood, schools and playgrounds.

He appeared at the meeting with a police officer in tow. When a resident asked if the officer was for his protection, Grawe talked about a Barnett Shale Energy Education Council meeting he attended where his industry peers advised him to take security with him to community meetings because “they” have been to meetings where “it escalated.”

Grawe went on to tell the Mansfield residents that some people in Denton are “preaching” civil disobedience and that they are on “the watch list” but not his watch list.

When another resident asked whose watch list, Grawe said “Homeland Security.”

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Watchlist Service (WLS) is a database of known or suspected terrorists compiled by the Terrorists Screening Center.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) currently uses the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB), a consolidated database maintained by the Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation Terrorist Screening Center of identifying information about those known or reasonably suspected of being involved in terrorist activity in order to facilitate DHS mission-related functions, such as counterterrorism, law enforcement, border security and inspection activities.

It’s shocking to think that young families, pregnant women and retirees who don’t want to live next to a heavy industrial plant that will decrease their property value, diminish their quality of life and emit hazardous air pollutants that compromise their health would be considered terrorists. But what is more shocking is that Grawe supposedly has inside information about who is on the DHS watch list.

If you saw Gasland Part II, you will remember that retired Air Force officer Virginia Cody was a victim of domestic spying by the DHS.

James Powers, Pennsylvania Homeland Security director contracted with an anti-terrorism contractor, Institute of Terrorism Research and Response (ITRR), to spy on gas drilling opponents. ITRR intercepted communications and tracked group members and their affiliations.

Virginia Cody was a member of Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition, a public awareness group, which is the same kind of group as Denton’s Drilling Awareness Group. Powers mistakenly sent an email to Cody that made it clear the DHS was supporting the oil and gas industry in trying to squelch opposition.

At the center of the controversy is an e-mail written by the director of the state Homeland Security Office that seemed to take sides in the Marcellus Shale gas-drilling debate.

“We want to continue providing this support to the Marcellus Shale Formation natural gas stakeholders while not feeding those groups fomenting dissent against those same companies,” James F. Powers Jr. wrote in a Sept. 5 e-mail to Virginia Cody, an antidrilling activist in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Philly.com, Rendell’s office releases content of all bulletins on planned protests

Like Denton’s Drilling Awareness Group, Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition members are not radicals nor do they participate in any illegal activities. Yet they were listed on intelligence bulletins as security threats right along with Al-Qaeda operatives.

Equally shocking was the revelation that the Pennsylvania Department of Homeland Security had distributed those bulletins to local police chiefs, state, federal and private intelligence agencies, and the security directors of the natural gas companies, as well as industry groups and PR firms. AlterNet, Corporations and Law Enforcement are Spying on Environmentalists

Pennsylvania State Police’s intelligence unit was not impressed with the quality of information in the bulletins.

“I likened it to reading the National Enquirer. Every so often they have something right, but most of the time it’s unsubstantiated gossip,” George Bivens, director of the state police’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, testified in a Pennsylvania Senate hearing last month. ProPublica

Governor Ed Rendell, accepted Powers’ resignation two weeks after the domestic spying news broke. Rendall said he was embarrassed by the incident but he failed to apologize. (Note: Rendell pressured the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to drop it’s investigation of water contamination by Range Resources in Parker County, TX. Parker County is one of three water contamination cases where, despite evidence, the EPA backed away from investigations).

Adam Briggle, University of North Texas philosophy and religion professor and Denton’s Drilling Awareness Group member and his student, Ben Kessler an Iraq war veteran were visited by the FBI in early 2012. The FBI questioned Briggle about an ethics course he was teaching that touched on non-violent civil disobedience. At the same time, Briggle was working with Denton’s Drilling Awareness Group helping to organize Denton residents to advocate for more protective drilling regulations. PegasusNews, UNT Professor, student questioned by FBI

Kessler had helped organize a peaceful protest in April 2011 outside Range Resources’ offices in Fort Worth. In a Washington Post article the FBI said they acted on an “anonymous complaint.”

Late 2011, I attended an industry conference where Matt Pitzarella, Range Resources’ director of corporate communications and public affairs, admitted Range deploys former military psyops operatives in our neighborhoods. At the same conference, Matt Carmichael, Anadarko Petroleum’s manager of external affairs, recommended his peers download the U.S. Army/Marine Corp Counter Insurgency Manual, and Michael Kehs, Chesapeake Energy’s VP of Strategic Affairs and Public Relations, called Americans insurgents.

The conference also included topics about how to inoculate academics, reporters and lawmakers, the most important, influential members of society, how to align with universities to gain credibility and the importance of tracking the opposition and all their contacts.

Grawe’s statement confirms there is an unholy alliance between the oil and gas industry and our government. But it also shows how deep that alliance goes and the extent of industry’s use of psyops against the American people. If even a third-tier operator like EagleRidge has inside information about who is on the DHS’s Watch List, it’s easy to believe the industry could have influence on who gets added to that watch list.

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

Show Comments ()
Sponsored
GMO
Soy plants. Pixabay

Mexico Revokes Monsanto's Permit to Market GMO Soy in Seven States

Monsanto has lost its permit to commercialize genetically modified (GMO) soy in seven Mexican states, Reuters reported.

Mexico's agriculture sanitation authority SENASICA revoked the permit—a decision that the St. Louis-based seed giant called unjustified.

Keep reading... Show less
Renewable Energy
Puerto Rico National Guard / Flickr

This Brilliant Initiative Is Sending 100 Solar Trailers to Puerto Rico for Free

A remarkable collaborative effort to deploy portable solar energy systems to relieve critical areas in Puerto Rico is well underway.

The "Power On Puerto Rico" project from the Amicus Solar Cooperative, a nationwide solar energy cooperative, and Amurtel, an international disaster relief nonprofit, is sending 100 off-grid Solar Outreach Systems (SOS) to the storm-battered island.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Rebecca Gruby, CC BY-ND

To Succeed, Large Ocean Sanctuaries Need to Benefit Both Sea Life and People

By Rebecca Gruby, Lisa Campbell, Luke Fairbanks and Noella Gray

There is growing concern that the world's oceans are in crisis because of climate change, overfishing, pollution and other stresses. One response is creating marine protected areas, or ocean parks, to conserve sea life and key habitats that support it, such as coral reefs.

In 2000, marine protected areas covered just 0.7 percent of the world's oceans. Today 6.4 percent of the oceans are protected—about 9 million square miles. In 2010, 196 countries set a goal of protecting 10 percent of the world's oceans by 2020.

Keep reading... Show less
iStock

Geoengineering Could Create More Problems Than It Could Solve

By Tim Radford

Geoengineering—the untested technofix that would permit the continued use of fossil fuels—could create more problems than it could solve.

By masking sunlight with injections of sulphate aerosols in the stratosphere, nations could perhaps suppress some of the devastating hurricanes and typhoons that in a rapidly warming world threaten northern hemisphere cities. But they could also scorch the Sahel region of Africa, to threaten millions of lives and livelihoods, according to new research.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Renewable Energy
Tesla's massive Powerpack battery system in South Australia is charged by a nearby wind farm. Tesla

Tesla Finishes Building World's Largest Battery Month and a Half Ahead of Schedule

Elon Musk has won an audacious bet he made back in March to build a battery system for South Australia in “100 days from contract signature or it is free."

The 100-megawatt Powerpack system is the world's largest, or three times bigger than Tesla and Edison's battery at Mira Loma in Ontario, California.

Keep reading... Show less
Adventure

REI Urges Customers to #OptOutside on Black Friday

BY Connor McGuigan

REI will once again shutter its doors on Black Friday as part of its #OptOutside campaign, which encourages people to forgo bargain-hunting and spend America's busiest shopping day outside. The outdoor retailer will also suspend online sales and provide all 12,000 employees with a paid day off to enjoy the outdoors.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

Blocked From Discussing Climate Change, Valve-Turner Faces 10 Years in Prison After Felony Conviction

By Julia Conley

After a judge refused to allow him to share his reasons for shutting off a tar sands pipeline valve in a protest of fossil fuel mining, 65-year-old climate activist Leonard Higgins was found guilty of criminal mischief—a felony—and misdemeanor criminal trespass. Higgins faces up to 10 years in jail and as much as $50,000 in fines.

"I'm happy for the opportunity to share why I had to shut down this pipeline, and I really appreciate the time and dedication of the jury and the judge," Higgins said. "I was disappointed and surprised by the verdict, but even more disappointed that I was not allowed a 'necessity defense,' and that I wasn't allowed to talk about climate change as it related to my state of mind. When I tried to talk about why I did what I did I was silenced. I'm looking forward to an appeal."

Keep reading... Show less
Climate
iStock

How to Talk to Your Relatives About Climate Change: A Guide for the Holidays

By Abigail Dillen

Most people who know me are too polite to question climate change when I'm around, but there are relatives and old family friends who hint at the great divide between their worldviews and mine. I think they sincerely believe that I would crush the economy forever if I had my way. On the other end of the spectrum are friends and family who are alarmed by climate and genuinely want to know what we and our elected officials can do about it. But no matter who's in the mix, it's hard to bring my work home for the holidays. Most of the time it feels easier to leave our existential crisis unmentioned.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!