For Immediate Release: June 25, 2014
Video of Action:
Chicago, IL–Two protesters interrupted a Southwest Energy (SWN) presentation Wednesday at the Global Hunter Securities 100 conference in Chicago by taking off their shirts and unfurling a banner to an
audience of investors that read, “The people resist SWN, you lose your
shirt!” The banner referred to how increasing public resistance SWN’s
controversial hydraulic fracturing projects in Elsipogtog first
nations land, public land in Pennsylvania and other locations is
successful in slowing down and preventing projects and therefore makes
them unwise investments.
Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” involves forcing large amounts of
water or other substances deep underground to break shale rock to
release trapped oil and gas. Fracking has raised the ire of people
globally due to air and water pollution, earthquakes and large amounts
of greenhouse gases that are tied to the process.
Attempts to frack Elsipogtog first nations land have been met with
fierce opposition from the Mi’kmaq people during the past year. Canada
has given permits to SWN to frack, but Elsipogtog lands were never
ceded. In October of 2013, SWN brought in police to uphold an
injunction and arrested 40 people that were among many more attempts
to stop fracking in their community. Less than a week ago, more road
blockades to halt fracking activity resulted in 12 arrests. Community
resistance has resulted in delaying SWN’s activity.
“A recent scientific study found that that public resistance to these
oil and gas projects is successful because it delays them and costs
the company money. Sometimes they end up canceling the project.” said
Joy Holowicki one of the participants in today’s action referring to a
study titled Cost of Company-Community Conflict in the Extractive
In Pennsylvania, SWN is moving forward with unpopular plans to frack
in Loyalsock State Forest. This mostly intact forest will become
fragmented and further impacted by fracking well pads, pipeline and
roads. Just this month, more than 200 people rallied at the
Pennsylvania state house to call for an end to fracking in
Pennsylvania state parks and forests.
When asked why she interrupted the SWN presentation Gloria Fallon of
Rising Tide Chicago said, “We are here today to stand in solidarity
with the Mi’kmaq people, residents in Pennsylvania and all other
communities impacted by Southwestern Energy’s destructive projects. We
are working to prevent hydraulic fracturing in Illinois as well.
Nobody should have to live near dirty, dangerous fracking.”