Quantcast
Climate

Santa Arrested at Gates of Crestwood Saying No to Dirty Energy, Yes to Renewables

The Grinch, Santa and his elves took a short break from their Christmas preparations today to visit the gates of the Crestwood gas storage facility near Seneca Lake in New York to warn the company that Santa—and the world—is watching. His elves and local friends held signs saying, “Dirty energy = naughty, clean renewables = nice” and “Here comes the sun, go solar!”

Santa and 12 others, including the Grinch, were arrested for disorderly conduct while stopping a truck pulling construction equipment. Their message: there’s still time to get on Santa’s “nice” list.

Santa and 12 others were arrested today at the gates of Crestwood gas storage facility near Seneca Lake in New York. Photo credit: We Are Seneca Lake

“Santa is very worried about climate change,” elves close to Santa said. “He paid close attention to the climate negotiations in Paris. Where will we live when the ice at the North Pole melts? The reindeer are already falling through the melting tundra in their feeding grounds. It’s not just an issue for us, but for all the people living near the coasts … as ice melts, seas rise. Santa does not want anyone to be climate refugees.”

The Crestwood gas storage facility proposes to store methane, propane and butane in salt caverns under the shores of Seneca Lake. It is one of many projects, including pipelines, which aim to develop “new markets” for the current glut of natural gas from the fracking boom, committing people to using natural gas far into the future. Natural gas is primarily methane, a significantly more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide over a 20-year timeframe.

“I’m here today to make sure kids know who’s being naughty and nice,” said Santa. “Crestwood has been very, very naughty by promoting the use of natural gas, which is making climate change worse. The people getting arrested at the gate, on the other hand, are very, very nice and are working hard to protect all of us.”

“I applaud what protesters there [at Seneca Lake] are doing,” Robert Howarth said in an interview with Evan Dawson on WXXI’s Connections in response to news that the North Pole gang was blockading at Crestwood.

Howarth is a climate scientist and was a Cornell University delegate at the Paris climate talks earlier this month. “Coming out of Paris, we need to be carbon neutral by about 2035. Natural gas, and shale gas in particular, is a disaster to what we are trying to do to reach this climate target ... Methane is 100-fold more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide when it’s in the atmosphere ... If we immediately move off of natural gas, it will buy us 30 or 40 more years before we hit that 1.5 degree temperature increase.”

Santa and the Grinch joined many friends from the area in welcoming the return of the sun at Winter Solstice, noting that solar panels have been particularly high on the wish list requests in the area this year.

“Seneca Lake and the climate of the world are more important than things that go blink or things that are swirled,” said the Grinch. “The people who stand on this line today show the spirit of Christmas is not far away.”

Schuyler County deputies arrested the 13 shortly before 2 p.m. as they blocked a dump truck pulling a mini excavator from leaving the facility.

The 13 protesters were transported to the Schuyler County Sheriff’s department, charged with disorderly conduct and released.

Crestwood’s methane gas storage expansion project was approved by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in October 2014 in the face of broad public opposition and unresolved questions about geological instabilities, fault lines and possible salinization of Seneca Lake. The total number of arrests in the civil disobedience campaign over the past year now stands at 452. Whether due to low natural gas prices or the ongoing direct action campaign, construction of Crestwood’s natural gas storage expansion has not yet begun.

The 13 arrested today included: Stefan Senders (Santa Claus), 56, Hector, Schuyler County; Charlotte Senders (The Grinch), 19, Hector, Schuyler County; Coert Bonthius (Elf), 62, Ithaca, Tompkins County; Krys Cail (Elf), 62, Ulysses, Tompkins County; Lyndsay Clark (Elf), 54, Springwater, Livingston County; Kim Cunningham (Elf), 59, Naples, Ontario County; Barbara Eden (Elf), 63, Ithaca, Tompkins County; Patricia Heckart (Elf), 64, Ulysses, Tompkins County; Gretchen Herrmann (Elf), 66, Ithaca, Tompkins County; Todd Hobler (Elf), 53, Buffalo, Erie County; Gabrielle Illava (Elf), 26, Ithaca, Tompkins County; Bruce Reisch (Elf), 60, Geneva, Ontario County; and Gabriel Shapiro (Elf), 19, Ithaca, Tompkins County.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

And the Climate Pretender Award Goes to …

New Yorkers Celebrate One-Year Anniversary of Fracking Ban

Confirmed: 4.6-Magnitude Earthquake in British Columbia Caused by Fracking (Likely World’s Largest)

How Fracking Is Driving Gas Prices Below $2 Per Gallon

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Animals
Lake Baikal. W0zny / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 3.0

Wildlife Under Siege at the World’s Oldest Lake

By Marlene Cimons

Lake Baikal is the world's oldest and deepest lake. It's at least 20 million years old, and roughly a mile deep at its lowest point. The Siberian lake contains holds more water than all the North American Great Lakes combined, what amounts to more than one-fifth of all the water found in lakes, swamps and rivers. It was formed by the shifting of tectonic plates, which created a valley that filled with water. That shift continues today at a rate of around 1 to 2 centimeters year, meaning the world's biggest lake is only getting bigger.

Keep reading... Show less
Insights/Opinion
Oil rig operating next to a walk and bike way in the Signal Hill area of Los Angeles. Sarah Craig / Faces of Fracking / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

U.S. Oil and Gas Industry Is Drilling Us Towards Climate Disaster

By Kelly Trout

As the 116th Congress commences, in the wake of dire reports from climate scientists, the debate over U.S. climate policies has taken a welcome turn towards bold solutions. Spurred on by grassroots pressure from Indigenous communities, the youth-led Sunrise Movement and communities from coast to coast fighting fossil fuel infrastructure, Capitol Hill is alive once again with policy proposals that edge towards the scale required to address the crisis we're in.

Keep reading... Show less
Animals
Bumblebee on goldenrod. Jim Hudgins / USFWS

Half of Michigan's Bumblebee Species in Decline, One Extinct

Honeybees get a lot of attention for their worrisome decline, but many species of bumblebees—which are key pollinators—are also in trouble.

In Michigan, half of its bumblebee species have declined by 50 percent or more, Michigan Radio reported.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Bound bales of crushed plastic bottles and containers sit stacked ready to be recycled at a recycling center in the Netherlands. Jasper Juinen / Bloomberg / Getty Images

Toward a Circular Economy: Tackling the Plastics Recycling Problem

By Margaret Sobkowicz

Why has the world continued to increase consumption of plastic materials when at the same time, environmental and human health concerns over their use have grown?

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Oceans
Bleached coral at the Great Barrier Reef. The Ocean Agency / XL Catlin Seaview Survey / Richard Vevers

2018 Was the Hottest Year Ever Recorded for Our Oceans

The year 2018 was the hottest year for the planet's oceans ever since record-keeping began in 1958, according to a worrisome new study from international scientists.

The findings, published Wednesday in the journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, noted that the five warmest years for our oceans were the last five years—2018, 2017, 2015, 2016 and 2014 (in order of decreasing ocean heat content).

Keep reading... Show less
EPA Acting Administrator Wheeler / EPA

Senate Shouldn’t Put Wheeler at the Wheel of the EPA

By Ana Unruh Cohen

As the longest government shut down in history drags on, and the experts protecting our air and water remain off the job, the Senate is barreling forward to put Andrew Wheeler at the wheel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He is unfit for this public trust.

In his seven-month tenure as the acting administrator at EPA, Wheeler's relentlessly pushed to advance the pro-polluter agenda launched by Scott Pruitt, the worst administrator in the agency's storied 48-year history. Wheeler may lack Pruitt's scandals, but he's no improvement.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Health
Westend61 / Getty Images

Top 20 Healthy Salad Toppings

By Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN, LD

Salads are typically made by combining lettuce or mixed greens with an assortment of toppings and a dressing.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Shirley Fire, 2014. Stuart Palley

In Nighttime Shots of Massive Wildfires, a Photographer Shows Us the Light

By Patrick Rogers

During the day, freelance photographer Stuart Palley covers news events for publications like the Los Angeles Times and shoots images for advertising and PR clients. By night, he pursues his passion: photographing the wildfires that have been ravaging, with increasing frequency, the forests, grasslands, towns and cities of his native California. Over the past five years, Palley has documented nearly 75 fires, from the Mexican border to the Shasta Trinity National Forest near Oregon.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

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