Cross Posted from Pittsburgh Gazette
More than 50 residents from Bessemer, Pa. and members of the Shadbush Environmental Justice Collective have joined together today to protest gas drilling that is underway 4,000 ft. from a local woman’s farm.
Maggie Henry, who raises organic eggs, poultry and pork, fears that the Shell gas well will hurt her business and animals. She has gone to the state Environmental Hearing Board to challenge Shell’s permit, but her lawyers from the University of Pittsburgh law clinic decided not to take the case.
This action comes on the heels of a weekend-long training held on the Henry property. Organized by Pittsburgh-based Shadbush Environmental Justice, the Shalefield Justice Action Camp brought together over 80 organizers from across the Marcellus and Utica shale regions to share skills and strategies in community organizing and non-violent direct action to combat fracking and other forms of harmful resource extraction.
According to a release put out by the Shadbush group today, Ms. Henry’s property contains at least 10 abandoned oil wells, which could cause fires or explosions if fracking is pursued in those areas. She also fears that her groundwater could become contaminated.
The protest follows the Shalefield Justice Action Camp, a weekend-long training held on Ms. Henry’s property to discuss ways to organize non-violent direct action to put an end to fracking and similar methods of natural resource extraction that some say are harmful to the environment.
The well is located at 1545 Pennsylvania Rt. 108, Bessemer, Pa. Video footage from the action camp can be watched here.