Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Protesters in a Pittsburgh suburb stopped traffic at Southpointe, an industrial park that's home to Halliburton and 14 other energy companies seeking to capitalize on the Marcellus Shale—while polluting the surrounding communities. (Photo: @RisingTideNA/Twitter)

Anti-Fracking Protest Shuts Down Traffic at Energy Companies' Offices

Demonstrators assembled at an office park where 15 energy companies are located

Julia Conley

Holding a banner reading "We won't stop—There's too much at stake," demonstrators shut down morning traffic at an office park outside Pittsburgh on Monday, in protest of the harmful effects 15 energy companies in the complex have on the environment.

The protesters set up two tripod structures in the middle fn a main intersection leading to Southpointe, a 589-acre property in suburban Washington County, Pennsylvania—home to companies including Halliburton, Chesapeake Energy, and Range Resources, all of which participate in fracking and mining.

Two community members climbed onto the tripods while three others sat between them with their arms in lockboxes for about four hours before police broke up the demonstration, according to Rising Tide North America, a grassroots environmental group.

A woman who was seated between the structures said the companies that operate at Southpointe are "impacting our lives every day in our communities. I've been run off the road twice because of truck traffic. I have to wonder about the health of my daughter every day living within a half mile of gas wells."

She added that "the coal operator here is also destroying our only state park," referring to the efforts of Consol Energy, another company at Southpointe, to obtain a mining permit for Ryerson Station State Park.

A community member named Patrick Young said that the disruption of traffic into the office park can't be compared to the damage being done by the companies.

Energy companies have flocked to Southpointe in recent years as the gas and oil industries have sought to capitalize on the Marcellus shale, the sprawling rock formation underneath western New York and Pennsylvania, over which thousands of wells have been set up for fracking and mining. Last year, Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection found more than 250 cases of contamination and other negative impacts of fracking in private water supplies in the state.

Environmental activist Ruth Breech described the scene as the protest successfully stopped traffic and police arrived to break up the protest.

The grassroots organization Rising Tide tweeted at about 10:00am that police had begun arresting the protesters, linking to a legal defense fund for the community members.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Groups Say Congress Should Reject Biden's Harmful Sentencing Proposal on Fentanyl-Related Drugs

"The facts don't support the argument that a harsh law enforcement approach, such as permanent classwide scheduling of fentanyl-related substances, will curb drug distribution, sale, and use."

Andrea Germanos ·


AOC Laments How Accused Predator Kavanaugh Ready to Rule on 'Whether to Legalize Forced Birth in the US'

The congresswoman suggested Justice Brett Kavanaugh should recuse himself from Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, considering multiple sexual assault allegations against him that the FBI failed to investigate.

Julia Conley ·


Biden Rebuked for Plan to Implement 'Even Worse' Version of Trump's 'Remain in Mexico' Policy

"The Biden administration must stop hiding behind a flawed court order to justify" the abuse of asylum seekers, said one immigrant rights advocate.

Kenny Stancil ·


Progressive Coalition to Schumer: No More Cuts to Popular Build Back Better Bill

"Now is the moment to do everything in your power to ensure that we get the best, most inclusive, reconciliation bill possible across the finish line."

Jessica Corbett ·


New Report Urges Biden to Stop Arms Sales Fueling Saudi 'Devastation' of Yemen

"It's time for the Biden administration to cut off this support as a way to change Saudi conduct and relieve the suffering of the Yemeni people caused by Saudi actions."

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo