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 ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Animals
An adult bush dog, part of a captive breeding program. Hudson Garcia

A Rescue Dog Is Now Helping to Save Other (Much Wilder) Dogs

By Jason Bittel

Formidable predators stalk the forests between Panama and northern Argentina. They are sometimes heard but never seen. They are small but feisty and have even been documented trying to take down a tapir, which can top out at nearly 400 pounds. Chupacabras? No.

Keep reading... Show less
Health
RoNeDya / iStock / Getty Images

What Is Mead, and Is It Good for You?

By Ansley Hill, RD, LD

Mead is a fermented beverage traditionally made from honey, water and a yeast or bacterial culture.

Keep reading... Show less
Climate
U.S. Army member helps clear debris from Tyndall Air Force Base following Hurricane Michael. U.S. Army

Pentagon: Climate Change Is Real and a 'National Security Issue'

The Pentagon released a Congressionally mandated report (pdf) that warns flooding, drought and wildfires and other effects of climate change puts U.S. military bases at risk.

The 22-page analysis states plainly: "The effects of a changing climate are a national security issue with potential impacts to Department of Defense (DoD or the Department) missions, operational plans, and installations."

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Protesters interrupt the confirmation hearing for Andrew Wheeler on Capitol Hill Jan. 16 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

5 People Calling Out EPA Acting Head Wheeler for Putting Polluters First

This week, people across the country are joining environmental leaders to speak out against the nomination of former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler to lead the the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As Scott Pruitt's hand-picked successor, Wheeler has continued to put polluters over people, most recently by using the last of his agency's funding before it expired in the government shutdown to announce plans to allow power plants to spew toxic mercury and other hazardous pollution into the air.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
Great white shark. Elias Levy / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Marine Biologists Raise Flags About Viral Great White Shark Encounter

By now you might have seen Ocean Ramsey's rare and jaw-dropping encounter with a great white shark in waters near Oahu, Hawaii.

Ramsey, a marine biologist, said on the TODAY Show that it was "absolutely breathtaking and heart-melting" to be approached by the massive marine mammal.

Keep reading... Show less
A tree found severed in half in an act of vandalism in Joshua Tree National Park. Gina Ferazzi / Los AngelesTimes / Getty Images

Wall Before Country Takes Mounting Toll on Americans Everywhere

By Rhea Suh

One month on, the longest and most senseless U.S. government shutdown in history is taking a grave and growing toll on the environment and public health.

Food inspectors have been idled or are working without pay, increasing the risk we'll get sick from eating produce, meat and poultry that isn't properly checked. National parks and public wilderness lands are overrun by vandals, overtaken by off-road joyriders, and overflowing with trash. Federal testing of air and water quality, as well as monitoring of pollution levels from factories, incinerators and other sources, is on hold or sharply curtailed. Citizen input on critical environmental issues is being hindered. Vital research and data collection are being sidelined.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Energy
The W. A. Parish Power Plant, owned by NRG Energy, is one of the largest coal-fired power plants in the U.S. Roy Luck / CC BY 2.0

All Coal-Fired Power Plants in Texas Found Leaking Toxins Into Groundwater

Power plants across Texas are leaching toxins into groundwater, according to new research. A report released this week from the Environmental Integrity Project found that all of the state's 16 coal-fired power plants are leaching contaminants from coal ash into the ground, and almost none of the plants are properly lining their pits to prevent leakage.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site. NPS

MLK National Park to Re-Open Despite Shutdown, Thanks to Delta

Hats off to Delta Air Lines. The company's charitable arm awarded the National Park Service an $83,500 grant to help reopen the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park in Atlanta from Jan. 19 through Feb. 3 in honor of Dr. King's legacy.

The Atlanta-based airline was inspired to act after learning that some of the park's sites, including Dr. King's birth home, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Fire Station No. 6 and the visitor center, were closed due to the partial government shutdown, now on its 28th day, according to LinkedIn post from Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

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