Saying that “so far” Ohio has not seen any violence from extremist anti-drilling environmentalist groups—but that they do expect violence—the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s (OSHP) Central Intelligence Unit is now monitoring groups like Earth First! and Appalachian Resist. The OSHP says: “…some of these groups are considered domestic terrorists or vandals.”
At a monthly meeting of first responders in Harrison County, OH who gather to discuss and plan for health and safety emergencies related to shale drilling, Sgt. Greg McCutcheon of the OSHP said the following:
Sgt. Greg McCutcheon of the Ohio State Highway Patrol reported that last Tuesday Ohioans and environmental groups including Earth First! and Appalachia Resist had disrupted operations at Greenhunter Water’s hydraulic fracturing or fracking wastewater storage site along the Ohio River near New Matamoras.
Around two dozen officers representing the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the New Matamoras Police Department worked to contain traffic and the crowd of 100 protesters.
"Ten people were arrested during a Tuesday anti-fracking protest including a man who spent nearly five hours chained to a 30-foot-tall structure he erected which he had wired to a water truck and a fence inside f the facility," Sheriff Myers reported.
Sgt. McCutcheon reported that there was no violence at this protest but some other protests in Pennsylvania had been violent, including an incident in PA where a homemade explosive device had been planted near a pipeline.
"We have no reports of any violence so far but it is probably coming," Sgt. McCutcheon said. "We are asking that everyone be alert and aware and report anyone out of place at your facility."
"We want to emphasize that you should not touch any suspicious object, stay clear and make contact," Sgt. McCutcheon warned that some of these groups are considered domestic terrorists or vandals.
The group called last Tuesday’s action "the latest in a series of escalated acts of resistance to destructive extractive industries."
"These are fringe groups and our Central Intelligence Unit is monitoring them," Sgt. McCutcheon added. "If you see something we suggest you call 911 and they will contact the proper authorities."*
*Martins Ferry (OH) Times Leader (Mar 26, 2013) – Oil-gas boom spawns Harrison safety talks
See also this excellent report:
- Energy in Depth – Ohio (Mar 27, 2013) – Ohio Law Enforcement Monitoring Extreme Environmental Groups