Rising Tide North America Statement in Response to “Citizens for Local Governance” Smear Campaign in North Texas

DRC_FLIER_50098751Rising Tide North America Statement in Response to “Citizens for Local Governance” Smear Campaign in North Texas

In response to the recent smear campaign on members of Blackland Prairie Rising Tide by “Citizens for Local Governance,” Rising Tide North America issued the following statement:

Rising Tide North America stands in solidarity with our friends in Blackland Prairie Rising Tide and other like-minded individuals in Denton, TX.

A Political Action Committee (PAC) in Texas is targeting residents of Denton who have been organizing to unseat establishment, status-quo candidates in their local City Council elections next month. The PAC is trying to delegitimize all opposition to their crony candidates by falsely asserting that Blackland Prairie Rising Tide (BPRT) is behind it all.

BPRT is in no way involved with any electoral campaigning, though some of its members are being subjected to McCarthyistic attacks. The PAC is attempting to smear all Rising Tide organizing, silence legitimate dissent in Denton and stop the good work being done to end fracking in North Texas. These attacks have come in the form of a website full of inaccuracies about Rising Tide North America, Blackland Prairie Rising Tide and friends in Denton, and a postcard mailed to thousands of registered voters in Denton with similar information.

We condemn the efforts of the Citizens for Local Governance. The organization implies through its smear campaign that dissent and non-violent civil disobedience are wrong and deserve the scrutiny of federal authorities. Citizens for Local Governance includes conservative activists associated with the fossil fuel industry.

Citizens for Local Governance has a moneyed interest in stifling free speech and real liberty from the corporate state. Its members worship at the altar of money, power and status, and thus are directly threatened by Rising Tide North America. For that reason, we know we’re doing our work right when attacked by groups like this. Smear campaigns like this only embolden us in fighting for a just and stable climate.”

###

Vermont Pipeline Opponents Scale Tree, Halt Land Clearing for Pipeline?

treevia Rising Tide Vermont

[UPDATE: Day 2 Press Release]

Monkton, Vt. – For the second time in less than a month, opponents of Vermont Gas Systems’ fracked gas pipeline have taken to the trees to prevent pipeline construction in Addison County. An individual is sitting in a platform thirty feet high, effectively stopping crews from clearing the pipeline route.

“As we’ve said before, this pipeline ends with us. We don’t see the state’s decision to support this polluting, expensive pipeline as a legitimate decision, and will continue to get in the way of construction as much as possible,” Addie Herbert of Rising Tide Vermont.

Vermonters from across the state have attempted to stop the pipeline for years, through testifying at public hearings, writing letters, appealing to elected officials and intervening in the controversial Public Service Board process. Many feel they are left with no recourse but to directly intervene in construction.

“The Public Service Board showed their true colors recently, when they proposed barring the public from pipeline hearings,” said Jane Palmer, who’s farm is less than half a mile from the tree sit. “It’s no surprise that people are putting their bodies on the line when the state is putting corporations above democracy.”

Vermont Gas Systems sources its gas from the Western Canada Shale Basin, one of the largest deposits of oil and gas in the world. If built, this pipeline will become a major emitter of greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades. Opponents see the project as a direct link to the carbon and methane time bomb that scientists have warned

“We’re calling on all who are fighting to increase local control over energy projects in the state to join us in our effort to stop this undesirable pipeline,” Herbert said, in reference to recent legislation aimed at increasing town oversight in regards to renewable energy siting. “If we are to meet our energy needs in this state without wrecking the climate or landscapes of other communities, we need to end this system of unaccountable, corporate-owned energy and build a truly democratic energy system.”

92 Year Old Great Grandmother And Son Block Denton Fracking Operation

texasCross-posted from Blackland Prairie Rising Tide

92 Year Old Great Grandmother And Son Block Denton Fracking Operation

In Acts of Civil Disobedience, Elder Mother and Son Stage Sit-In for Local Control to Stop First Post-HB40 Fracking in Denton

DENTON, TX–TUESDAY, JUNE 16, 2015– Two Denton residents have blocked the entrance  to the city’s first active fracking operation since the passage of HB40, a state bill which strips local control of fracking from all cities across Texas. Violet Palmer, a 92 year old great grandmother, and her son Theron Palmer, seated themselves in front of fracking trucks attempting to enter Vantage Energy’s urban fracking site. Theron has locked himself to the gates of the site and both are refusing to leave.

“I am standing up today because never in my lifetime has there been such an egregious disregard for the democratic process in Texas,” said Violet. “We, the citizens of Denton clearly indicated our frustrations with regulating fracking when we voted for the fracking ban last November. The Texas legislature ignored our vote and our community standards.”

Denton’s prohibition on hydraulic fracturing was supported by nearly 60 percent of voters last November; however, industry-sponsored state lawmakers responded with the passage of HB40, a law that effectively preempts all local control of oil and gas regulations statewide. Less than 48 hours after HB40 was signed into law, Colorado based Vantage Energy announced that it would bring fracking back to Denton at a site located directly across the street from a neighborhood and several businesses.

“To imply that the expertise to regulate oil and gas resides only within the confines of Austin, is a condescending slap at the intelligence and due diligence of our local citizenry,” stated Theron Palmer.  “We clearly expressed our community standards, now nullified and replaced by the very narrow interests of those economic elites who dominate oil and gas development and hence the Texas legislature.”

Over the course of the last two weeks Denton residents have been taking direct action to enforce the city’s fracking ban. In the first week since fracking operations returned to Denton, dozens of residents blocked the gates, resulting in seven arrests. Residents have also organized weekly events dubbed “Frack Free Fridays,” promising to maintain a large presence at Vantage Energy’s site until the operator respects Denton’s vote and permanently ends all fracking within city limits.

“To paraphrase Edmund Burke, the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good women to do nothing. So I am doing something,” said Violet Palmer.

For Live Updates: Follow @BPRisingTide on Twitter, Blackland Prairie Rising Tide on Facebook.

For future updates and information: http://bprisingtide.org
###

Residents Rally at Vantage Energy Frack Site in Denton for Frack Free Fridays, Demand Local Control

Cross-posted from Blackland Prairie Rising Tide

This morning dozens of Denton residents surrounded the gates to Vantage Energy’s active fracking operation on Nail Road, demonstrating their long term commitment to defend their ordinance which bans fracking within city limits. In a weekly event dubbed “Frack Free Fridays,” community members will be amassing every Friday to maintain constant pressure on Vantage Energy as the 11427407_925680417454274_3490552003131826955_ofirst fracking operator to violate Denton’s fracking ban.

“I live in constant fear for the health and safety of my family,” said Sheila Achuff, who lives in the neighborhood directly across the street from the frack well. “It’s unfair for my children to be exposed to these toxic chemicals. Like every good parent I just want to protect and provide for their safety.”

Denton’s prohibition on hydraulic fracturing was supported by nearly 60 percent of voters last November; however, industry-sponsored state lawmakers responded with the passage of HB40, a law that effectively preempts all local control of oil and gas regulations statewide. Less than 48 hours after HB40 was signed into law, Colorado based Vantage Energy announced that it would bring fracking back to Denton at a site located directly across the street from a neighborhood and several businesses.

“Our city’s fracking ban is a perfect example of local direct democracy in action,” said Elida Tamez, a Denton resident attending the event who was arrested in an act of civil disobedience last week for blocking the gates to the fracking site and refusing to move. “Apparently Vantage has no respect for democracy. They could choose to respect our vote, but instead they value profits over people.”

Today’s event began with a community breakfast attended by several neighbors who live a few hundred feet from the active fracking site. Spirits were high as the crowd sang songs, marched in the streets, and listened to powerful testimony from impacted neighborhood residents. Community members maintained a presence outside the gates of the Vantage Energy site for much of the morning. Momentum is already building for next week.

###