We Are Being Watched: Corporate Spying on Environmental Groups

Paul Mobbs mobbsey at gn.apc.org
Thu May 30 09:26:02 BST 2013


We Are Being Watched: Corporate Spying on Environmental Groups

Adam Federman, Counterpunch, 29th May 2013

In February 2010 Tom Jiunta and a small group of residents in
northeastern Pennsylvania formed the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition
(GDAC), an environmental organization opposed to hydraulic fracturing in
the region. The group sought to appeal to the widest possible audience,
and was careful about striking a moderate tone. All members were asked
to sign a code of conduct in which they pledged to carry themselves with
“professionalism, dignity, and kindness” as they worked to protect the
environment and their communities. GDAC’s founders acknowledged that gas
drilling had become a divisive issue misrepresented by individuals on
both sides and agreed to “seek out the truth.”

The group of about 10 professionals – engineers, nurses, and teachers –
began meeting in the basement of a member’s home. As their numbers grew,
they moved to a local church. In an effort to raise public awareness
about the risks of hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) they attended
township meetings, zoning and ordinance hearings, and gas-drilling
forums. They invited speakers from other states affected by gas drilling
to talk with Pennsylvania residents. They held house-party style
screenings of documentary films.

Since the group had never engaged in any kind of illegal activity or
particularly radical forms of protest, it came as a shock when GDAC
members learned that their organization had been featured in
intelligence bulletins compiled by a private security firm, The
Institute of Terrorism Research and Response (ITRR). 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. News of
the surveillance broke in September 2010 when the director of the
Pennsylvania Department of Homeland Security, James Powers, mistakenly
sent an email to an anti-drilling activist he believed was sympathetic
to the industry, warning her not to post the bulletins online. The
activist was Virginia Cody, a retired Air Force officer. In his email to
Cody, Powers wrote: “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.”

The tri-weekly bulletins featured a wide range of supposed threats to
the state’s infrastructure. It included warnings about Al-Qaeda
affiliated groups, pro-life activists, and Tea Party protesters. The
bulletins also included information about when and where groups like
GDAC would be meeting, upcoming protests, and anti-fracking activists’
internal strategy. The raw data was followed by a threat assessment –
low, moderate, severe, or critical – and a brief analysis.

For example, bulletin no. 118, dated July 30, 2010 gave a low to
moderate threat rating in reference to public meetings that
anti-drilling activists planned to attend, and suggested that an “attack
is likely… and might well be executed.” The threat assessment was
accompanied by this note: “The escalating conflict over natural gas
drilling in Pennsylvania may define local fault lines and potentially
increase area environmentalist activity or eco-terrorism. GDAC
communications have cited Northeastern Pennsylvania counties,
specifically Wyoming, Lackawanna and Luzerne, as being in real ‘need of
our help’ and as facing a ‘drastic situation.’” Another bulletin
referenced an August 2010 FBI assessment of the growing threat of
environmental activism to the energy industry. Because of Pennsylvania’s
importance in the production of natural gas, ITRR concluded, an uptick
in vandalism, criminal activity, and extremism was likely.

Although the Pennsylvania scandal caused a brief public outcry, it was
quickly brushed aside as an unfortunate mistake. In fact, the episode
represents a larger pattern of corporate and police spying on
environmental activists fueled in part by the expansion of private
intelligence gathering since 9/11.

By 2007, 70 percent of the US intelligence budget – or about $38 billion
annually – was spent on private contractors. Much of this largesse has
been directed toward overseas operations. But it is likely that some of
that money has been paid to private contractors – hired either by
corporations or law enforcement agencies – that are also in the business
of spying on American citizens. As early as 2004, in a report titled
“The Surveillance Industrial Complex,” the American Civil Liberties
Union warned that the “US security establishment is making a systematic
effort to extend its surveillance capacity by pressing the private
sector into service to report on the activities of Americans.” At the
same time, corporations are boosting their own security operations.
Today, overall annual spending on corporate security and intelligence is
roughly $100 billion, double what it was a decade ago, according to
Brian Ruttenbur, a defense analyst with CRT Capital.

The surveillance of even moderate groups like GDAC comes at a pivotal
time for the environmental movement. As greenhouse gas emissions
continue unchecked, opposition to the fossil fuel industry has taken on
a more urgent and confrontational tone. Some anti-fracking activists
have engaged in nonviolent civil disobedience and the protests against
the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline have involved arrests at the White
House. Environmentalists and civil libertarians worry that accusations
of terrorism, even if completely unfounded, could undermine peaceful
political protest. The mere possibility of surveillance could handicap
environmental groups’ ability to achieve their political goals. “You are
painting the political opposition as supporters of terrorism to
discredit them and cripple their ability to remain politically viable,”
says Mike German, an FBI special agent for 16 years who now works with
the ACLU.

The Pennsylvania episode is not an isolated case. The FBI and Americans
for Prosperity (AFP), a Koch Brothers-backed lobbying group, have both
taken an interest in anti-drilling activists in Texas. In the fall of
2011, according to an investigation by The Washington Post, the FBI was
digging for information on the leader of Rising Tide North America, a
direct action environmental group, because of his opposition to
hydraulic fracturing (Rising Tide has also been active in organizing
protests against the Keystone XL pipeline). Ben Kessler, a Texas-based
activist, told the Post that the FBI had received an anonymous tip to
look into his activities. The agency also showed up at the office of
Kessler’s philosophy professor, Adam Briggle, who teaches an ethics
course that covers nonviolent civil disobedience and the history of the
environmental movement. Briggle, who has been involved in organizing
residents to impose tougher regulations on gas drilling in Denton,
Texas, told the Post that, “it seemed like a total fishing expedition to

About a month after he was approached by the FBI, Briggle received a
notice from his employer, the University of North Texas, asking him to
turn over all emails and other written correspondence “pursuant to City
of Denton natural gas drilling ordinances and the ‘Denton Stakeholder
Drilling Advisory Group,’” an organization Briggle founded in July 2011
whose mission is similar to that of GDAC. The university had received a
request under the state’s Public Information Act and Briggle was forced
to hand over more than 1,300 emails. He was later told that the request
had been made by Peggy Venable, Texas Director of Americans for

Rising Tide activists had speculated that the anonymous tip came from
one of the gas companies active in the region. Although there was no way
to prove a connection between the FBI’s investigation and AFP’s mining
of Briggle’s emails, both were viewed within the activist community as
acts of intimidation. Briggle says, “The message is, you’re being

During the last decade the FBI and, to a lesser extent, corporations
have elevated the threat of eco-terrorism to a top priority even as
environmentally motivated crimes have declined. In 2005, John Lewis, an
FBI deputy assistant director, said the animal rights and environmental
movements were “one of the FBI’s highest domestic terrorism priorities.”
In the post-9/11 era, the outsourcing of intelligence gathering to
private companies has ballooned, the bar for investigating domestic
threats has been lowered, and a premium has been placed on information
sharing with the private sector. “What changed after 9/11,” the ACLU’s
German says, “was the lowering of the threshold for FBI investigations
and the promulgation of these radicalization theories that while
specifically written about Muslim extremists – the same theory that
people move from ideas to activism to terrorism – justified increased
surveillance against activists and against people who were just part of
the environmental rights movement but had no association with violence
or criminal acts.”

Since 9/11 accusations of eco-terrorism have proliferated and a number
of individuals and groups have been prosecuted under new laws, which
have profoundly impacted the radical environmental movement. The broad
crackdown and subsequent fear and paranoia that swept through activist
circles have been referred to as the “Green Scare.” “The shift was
gradual,” Will Potter writes in Green is the New Red: An Insider’s
Account of a Social Movement Under Siege, “slowly merging the rhetoric
of industry groups with that of politicians and law enforcement.”

In public, corporations have amplified the threat of eco-terrorism to
influence legislation, such as the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. In
private, meanwhile, they have hired firms to spy on environmental
groups. About a month after 9/11, for example, the crisis communications
firm Nichols Dezenhall (now Dezenhall Resources) registered a website
called StopEcoViolence.com (now defunct), which served as a sort of faux
watchdog group and source for media outlets including The New York
Times. Around the same time, Dezenhall – described by Bill Moyers as the
“Mafia of industry” – was involved in corporate espionage. Along with
two other PR companies, Dezenhall hired a now-defunct private security
firm, Beckett Brown International, to spy on environmental activists.
One of the targeted groups was Greenpeace. In 2011 Greenpeace filed a
lawsuit charging that Dow Chemical, Sasol (formerly CONDEA Vista), the
PR firms, and individuals working for Beckett Brown International (which
was founded by former Secret Service officers) stole thousands of
documents, intercepted phone call records, trespassed, and conducted
unlawful surveillance. In a story for Mother Jones, James Ridgeway
revealed that the security firm obtained donor lists, detailed financial
statements, Social Security numbers of staff members, and strategy memos
from several groups, and, in turn, “produced intelligence reports for
public relations firms and major corporations involved in environmental
controversies.” (In February a Washington, DC court ruled that the
claims of trespass and misappropriation of trade secrets could proceed.)

More recently, according to a report in The Nation, the agricultural
giant Monsanto contracted with a subsidiary of Blackwater, the private
security firm, to gather intelligence on and possibly infiltrate
environmental groups in order to protect the company’s brand name. “This
is the new normal,” says Scott Crow, an author and longtime
environmental activist who was the subject of FBI and corporate
surveillance for close to eight years beginning in 1999.

While the above cases involved corporations hiring private security
firms to carry out black-ops against environmental groups, the
Pennsylvania scandal may be the first time that a state agency has
contracted with a private security firm to gather intelligence on lawful
groups for the benefit of a specific industry. Although the ITRR
bulletins were produced for the Pennsylvania Department of Homeland
Security, they were shared with PR firms, the major Marcellus Shale
companies, and industry associations. For members of GDAC and other
anti-drilling organizations, the revelations were profoundly troubling.
Not only were they being lumped together with groups like Al-Qaeda, but
the government agencies tasked with protecting the people of
Pennsylvania were, in their view, essentially working for the gas
companies. If a moderate group like GDAC wasn’t safe from the
surveillance-industrial complex, it seemed nobody was. “These systems
and this type of collection is so rife with inappropriate speculation
and error – both intentional and unintentional – that your good behavior
doesn’t protect you,” German says.

Tom Jiunta, the founder of GDAC, says the ITRR bulletins had a chilling
effect. Attendance at GDAC meetings declined and some members left the
group altogether. Organizers assumed that their phones had been tapped
and that their emails were being monitored, a common perception among
anti-drilling activists. At meetings they would leave their cell phones
outside or remove the batteries. Jiunta, who has a podiatry practice in
downtown Kingston, began to take different routes to work because he was
worried about being followed. “We kind of assume that we’re being
watched,” he says. “Even now.”

Indeed, the intelligence gathering continues. Although the state
canceled its contract with ITRR, the company still works for the natural
gas industry, according to GDAC attorney Paul Rossi. “An employee with
one of the gas companies has told me that he is willing to testify that
ITRR is still conducting operations for the gas companies and they are
focusing in on environmental groups,” Rossi says. (In 2010 GDAC filed a
lawsuit against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and ITRR on First
Amendment grounds. Because it’s a private company or a “non-state
actor,” the judge ruled, claims against ITRR were dismissed. The terms
of a settlement with the state have not been reached. ITRR did not
return requests for comment.)

Like many of the activists I spoke with, Jiunta underscored the fact
that he’s never been drawn to conspiracy theories. GDAC’s code of
conduct was designed to weed out those whom Jiunta described as
“wackos.” Jiunta admits that he was pretty naïve when he first got
involved in anti-drilling activism; he would print out large stacks of
information on fracking to bring to state senators, who politely told
him not to waste their time. Now, his faith in the role of government
has been shattered. “People worried about being on a watch list,” he
told me. “It was shocking.”

In the wake of the surveillance scandal Pennsylvania Homeland Security
Director James Powers resigned and the state terminated its $103,000
no-bid contract with ITRR. Then-governor Ed Rendell called the episode
“deeply embarrassing” and a one-day Senate inquiry was held. In
testimony before the committee, Virginia Cody, the retired Air Force
officer who had become a critic of gas drilling, said: “For the first
time in my life, I do not feel secure in my home. I worry that what I
say on the phone is being recorded. I wonder if my emails are still
being monitored.”

The hearing sought to answer questions about how the contract was
awarded, why citizen groups exercising their First Amendment rights were
included, and, crucially, who received the information. Powers explained
that the information was distributed to various chemical, agricultural,
and transportation companies mentioned in the bulletins. At least 800
individuals were on the distribution list. In the case of gas drilling
activism he explained, “It [the bulletins] went to the security
directors of the Marcellus Shale companies and DEP (Department of
Environmental Protection).”

This is only partially true. A list of the individuals and groups who
received the bulletins shows that industry associations and PR firms
that have nothing to do with protecting the state’s infrastructure were
also included. For example, one of Powers’s key contacts on
Marcellus-related activity was Pam Witmer, then head of the Bravo
Group’s energy and environmental practice as well as president and CEO
of the Pennsylvania Chemical Industry Council, a business advocacy
group. The Bravo Group is a public relations and lobbying firm based in
Pennsylvania. Its clients include Chief Oil and Gas, Southwestern
Energy, and People’s Natural Gas, all of which are deeply invested in
Marcellus Shale production.

The Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry lobbying group, was also on
the distribution list. In 2010 the coalition signed a $900,000 lobbying
contract with Ridge Global, a private security firm founded by Tom
Ridge, former head of the Department of Homeland Security under George
W. Bush. As part of its energy consulting services Ridge Global offers
“advisory support for natural gas and other infrastructure security.”
Ridge is just one of many former security officials who now have private
consulting services. Others include John Ashcroft, Michael Chertoff, and
Richard Clarke.

The blurring of public and private spying is what Dutch scholar Bob
Hoogenboom calls “grey intelligence.” In a 2006 paper of the same name,
Hoogenboom noted that in addition to well-known spy agencies like MI6
and the CIA, hundreds of private organizations involved in intelligence
gathering have entered the market to meet corporate demand. “The idea
was to do for industry what we had done for the government,” Christopher
James, a former MI6 officer who founded Hakluyt, a private intelligence
company whose clients have included Shell and BP, told the Financial
Times. Many corporations now have their own private intelligence
networks, or “para-CIAs,” to gather information on consumers, critics,
and even their own shareholders. Walmart, for example, has an office of
global security headed by a one-time CIA and FBI official with a staff
that includes former State Department security experts. As Eveline
Lubbers writes in her recent book, Secret Manoeuvres in the Dark:
Corporate and Police Spying on Activists, “Because these business firms
hire former spies and analysts from the ranks of government, the
informal links with government intelligence increase.”

This is a global phenomenon. Corporations in Europe and Canada have also
spied on environmental groups. In 2006 French energy giant EDF, the
world’s largest operator of nuclear reactors, hired Kargus Consultants,
a private intelligence gathering agency run by a former member of the
French secret service, to spy on Greenpeace. Kargus hacked into a lead
Greenpeace organizer’s computer and compiled a dossier on the
organization’s European campaign strategy. In 2011 a French court fined
EDF 1.5 million euros and sent two of its employees to jail on charges
of illegal spying.

Although it was not raised at the Pennsylvania Senate hearing, the ITRR
bulletins also were shared with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
(RCMP). In January a Montreal paper reported that the RCMP itself has
been tracking anti-shale gas activists in Quebec. The Critical
Infrastructure Intelligence Team, a branch of the RCMP, produced two
reports that described the possibility of Canadian activists
collaborating with “extremist” groups in the US, such as Earth First!
and Occupy Well Street – an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street opposed to
fracking. According to Jeff Monaghan, a researcher with the Surveillance
Studies Center at Queen’s University in Ontario, the Canadian government
likely shares intelligence with the energy industry. Since at least 2005
the Canadian government has held biannual intelligence briefings to
share sensitive information with the private sector. In 2007 Gary Lunn,
former Minister of Natural Resources, admitted his agency had helped
more than 200 industry representatives obtain high-level security
clearances. “This enables us to share information with industry and
their associations,” Lunn said at a pipeline security forum.

Similar arrangements have been uncovered in the UK. In 2009 it was
revealed that the British police and the Department of Business,
Enterprise and Regulatory Reform had provided information about Climate
Camp demonstrations to E.ON, the company that runs the Ratcliffe-on-Soar
power station. E.ON also hired private security firms like Vericola and
Global Open to spy on protesters; both companies are staffed by former
intelligence agents.

The specter of environmental extremism has been used to justify
information sharing between law enforcement and the private sector. Last
year, Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, warned that
environmental groups “threaten to hijack our regulatory system to
achieve their radical ideological agenda.”

“It’s the new politics of the petro-state,” Monaghan says. “Anything
that’s remotely linked with direct action or nonviolent civil
disobedience is being described as extremism, which is the new code word
of security agencies.”

The fossil fuel industry’s targeting of its critics goes beyond mere
surveillance. Natural gas drilling companies have also flirted with
using the dark arts of psychological warfare, or “psy ops.” In comments
recorded by an anti-drilling activist at a 2011 natural gas conference
in Houston and leaked to CNBC, Matt Pitzarella, director of corporate
communications at Range Resources, said Range had hired “several former
psy ops folks” with experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. “Having that
understanding of psy ops in the Army and in the Middle East has applied
very helpfully here for us in Pennsylvania [sic],” Pitzarella said.

At the same conference, Matt Carmichael, a PR specialist with Anadarko
Petroleum, referred to the anti-drilling movement as an “insurgency” and
advised industry representatives to download the US Army/Marine Corps
Counterinsurgency Manual. “There’s a lot of good lessons in there and
coming from a military background, I found the insight in that extremely
remarkable,” he told his colleagues.

The oil and gas industry has good reason to feel besieged. Opposition to
fracking, especially, is on the rise. New York State has in place a
moratorium against the drilling technique, and legislators in California
are considering a similar ban. A white paper prepared by FTI Consulting,
a DC-based PR firm with ties to the shale gas industry, recently warned,
“Environmental activists are looking to undermine the strategies and
operations of energy companies.… Adding to the activists’ momentum is
the fact that a growing number of mainstream shareholders are supporting
their proposals.” But given the absence of any physical attacks against
drilling company assets, the industry’s view of its opponents smacks of
paranoia. In August 2012, iJET International, a private security firm
founded by a former National Security Agency operative, issued a risk
assessment of anti-drilling protests in New York State. In one of its
daily intelligence bulletins distributed to corporate clients the firm
observed, “Protests against hydraulic fracturing have gained
considerable momentum over the past few months…While most demonstrations
have been peaceful, participants say they are hoping to intensify
actions in hopes of disrupting operations at targeted facilities.”

The US Army Counterinsurgency Manual that was offered as suggested
reading for shale gas industry representatives includes an appendix on
Social Network Analysis, defined as “a tool for understanding the
organizational dynamics of an insurgency.” In an age of digital networks
and online activism, this often means using data-mining software, cyber
surveillance, and in some cases outright computer hacking to track
opposition groups.

At the 2011 natural gas conference in Houston the CEO of Jurat Software,
Aaron Goldwater, gave a presentation on the subject of data mining and
stakeholder intelligence. In his presentation he emphasized the
importance of knowing the communities you work in, of tracking and
mapping relationships, and compiling a sophisticated database that
includes all offline and online conversations. He pointed to the
military as a model. “If you look at the people who are experts at it,
which is the military, the one thing they do is gather intelligence,” he
told the audience.

Corporations have already taken advantage of network forensic software
to keep tabs on their own employees. The new technology, which allows
companies to monitor an employee’s activity down to the keystroke, is
one of the fastest growing software markets. There is a fine line,
however, between data mining – which is perfectly legal though largely
out of view – and cyber surveillance, or hacking.

While it is difficult to prove hacking, many activists are convinced
their computers have been tampered with. Kari Matsko, a professional
software consultant and director of the People’s Oil and Gas
Collaborative in Ohio, says her computer was hacked after she began to
push for tougher regulation of the natural gas industry.

Matsko got involved in environmental activism after hydrogen sulfide gas
was released from a well site near her home. In 2008 she started helping
a group of citizens who had filed a lawsuit against one of the larger
energy companies in Ohio on grounds of nuisance violations and loss of
property value. She spent many months doing research and collecting
files related to the case, some of which she described as damning.

Because of her profession Matsko has very strong computer security and
says that prior to working on oil and gas issues she had never had
problems with malware. But while assisting with the lawsuit Matsko’s
computer was attacked by a sophisticated virus. Matsko was able to
remove it and everything seemed fine. About a month later, though, she
unsuccessfully tried to open the computer folder that contained the
sensitive files related to the lawsuit. The files were either missing or
corrupted. “I remember I was so terrified by it that I didn’t even tell
people unless it was in person,” she says.

Other activists have described similar cyber security-related issues.
Around the time the ITRR bulletins were made public, Jiunta told me,
members of GDAC experienced persistent problems with their computers.
“Everybody was getting suspicious,” he says. “I had computer issues.
Some are still having issues.”

John Trolla, a 61-year-old musician and guitar instructor whose
communications were also featured in the ITRR bulletins, has been an
outspoken critic of shale gas development for several years. In 2007
Chief Oil and Gas offered him a signing bonus of $1,400 to lease his
mineral rights. Trolla, who lives in a modest two-story home in
northeastern Pennsylvania, refused. He’s been fighting the industry ever

“This is something that’s bigger in my life than I ever wanted it to
be,” he says. “Five years ago, when I first started getting involved in
this and I started talking to people, I would say to myself, ‘these
people are a little crazy.’ Five years later I sound like them.”

Immediately after the intelligence bulletins were made public Trolla’s
computer became nearly unusable. Documents were corrupted and
irretrievable; photos were disappearing and programs wouldn’t work. A
relatively new machine with a high-end operating system, Trolla had it
serviced at a Best Buy in nearby Muncy. He was told by the Geek Squad at
Best Buy that a highly sensitive program that acts like a Trojan Horse
had been installed on his computer. According to Trolla, “They said that
the program monitors every key stroke, every email, everything you do on
the computer.”

Nearly all of the activists I spoke with said the Pennsylvania Homeland
Security revelations, while giving them pause, had not changed their
behavior. They continue to speak out, to attend public meetings, and to
push for greater oversight of the industry. Still, “it leads to some
scary possibilities in the future,” says Eric Belcastro, an organizer
with the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund. “I don’t sit around
being paranoid about this stuff. I just try to do what I have to do and
get along with my life. But I admit the playing ground is rough and I
think people need to be careful.”

Even as corporations expand their surveillance of citizen-activists,
they are seeking to obstruct public oversight of their own behavior.
It’s a bit like a one-way mirror of democratic transparency – with
corporations and law enforcement on one side looking in and activists on
the other.

Pennsylvania is a case in point. In early 2012 legislators there passed
“Act 13,” a set of amendments to the state’s Oil and Gas Act, which
essentially stripped local municipalities of the authority to regulate
drilling activity through zoning ordinances and other measures. The law
also requires doctors who treat patients exposed to fracking chemicals
to sign a confidentially agreement before receiving information about
the substances. The gag rule would prevent them from sharing that
information with the patient or even other doctors (GDAC’s current
president, Dr. Alfonso Rodriguez, is challenging this provision).

Earlier this year, a bill was introduced into the Pennsylvania
legislature that would make it a felony to videotape farming operations
in Pennsylvania – so-called “ag-gag” legislation that has already passed
in Utah and Iowa, and has been introduced in several other legislatures.
Many of the ag-gag bills draw on language crafted by the American
Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) “Animal and Ecological Terrorism
Act.” (In recent years ALEC has received considerable support from the
natural gas industry). Section D of the ALEC bill defines an animal or
ecological terrorist organization in broad terms “as any association,
organization, entity, coalition, or combination of two or more persons”
who seek to “obstruct, impede or deter any person from participating”
not only in agricultural activity but also mining, foresting,
harvesting, and gathering or processing of natural resources.

The proposed law has many anti-drilling activists worried. If such
language were included in the bill (it is currently in committee and
will be revised before it comes to the floor) it would greatly limit the
ability of residents to photograph or video well sites, compressor
stations, and pipeline development – all of which could be considered
part of the “gathering or processing of natural resources.”

“It’s clearly legislation that could be easily expanded in any
particular case to include folks like me who do whatever we can to get
as close to some of these sites as we are able,” says Wendy Lee, a
philosophy professor at Bloomsburg University who regularly photographs
the industrial impacts of gas drilling and then posts them on her Flickr

Lee says that among anti-drilling activists there is a sense that 2013
is a do-or-die year. The state Supreme Court is set to rule on the
constitutionality of Act 13. As the drilling boom moves into ever more
populated areas, activists are gearing up for more focused organizing
and larger nonviolent protests. With tens of thousands of wells yet to
be drilled, at least this much is clear: The industry will be watching

Adam Federman (adamfederman.com) is a frequent contributor to Earth
Island Journal, where this article originally appeared. Federman wrote
an piece on surveillance of the environmental movement for the February
issue of CounterPunch magazine. 


"We are not for names, nor men, nor titles of Government,
nor are we for this party nor against the other but we are
for justice and mercy and truth and peace and true freedom,
that these may be exalted in our nation, and that goodness,
righteousness, meekness, temperance, peace and unity with
God, and with one another, that these things may abound."
(Edward Burrough, 1659 - from 'Quaker Faith and Practice')

Paul Mobbs, Mobbs' Environmental Investigations
3 Grosvenor Road, Banbury OX16 5HN, England
tel./fax (+44/0)1295 261864
email - mobbsey at gn.apc.org
website - http://www.fraw.org.uk/mei/index.shtml
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