12 protesters have been arrested in Watkins Glen, New York after demonstrating against the development of a natural gas and liquid petroleum storage facility, a harbinger of a hydraulic fracturing industry eager to spread across the state.
The protesters blockaded the entrance to the planned facility, which belongs to energy company Inergy, locked arms, and unfurled a banner reading “Our Future is Unfractured, We Are Greater Than Dirty Inergy”.
The blockaders were eventually arrested by local police and charged with a trespassing violation.
The site is "one example of numerous fracking infrastructure projects that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have allowed to slip in the back door while New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo debates allowing the controversial and extreme process of horizontal hydraulic fracturing," the group behind the action Our Future Is Unfractured stated Monday.
“It is wrong to bury explosive, toxic petroleum gases in underground chambers next to a source of drinking water for 100,000 people. It is wrong to build out the infrastructure for fracking at a time of climate emergency. It is right for me come to the shores of Seneca Lake, where my 11-year-old son was born, and say, with my voice and with my body, as a mother and biologist, that this facility is a threat to life and health,” stated Sandra Steingraber, who was arrested at the demonstration.
“This isn’t just a local issue—when students stand shoulder to shoulder with communities on the front-lines of the fight against extreme projects like Inergy’s, we’re one step closer to stopping fracking, and one step closer to protecting my generation’s future from poisoned water and devastating climate change,” said protester Dennis Fox, a Cornell University Sophomore.
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The Inergy site is close to Seneca Lake—New York State’s largest fresh water body and a source of drinking water for 100,000 people.
A 250+ person rally opposing the facility is expected to begin at the Watkins Glen Village Marina at 5:00 PM Monday.
Click here for live updates from the group and watch footage from the blockade's livestream below: