Anti-Fracking Activist Vera Scroggins Banned From 312.5 Square Miles Of PA
Anti-fracking activist Vera Scroggins has been barred from 312.5 square miles of Pennsylvania after a judge issued a court order making it illegal for her to be on any property owned or leased by Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation.
Scroggins, 63, can’t visit supermarkets, restaurants, drug stores, bowling alleys or any of her usual hangouts without the risk of fine or arrest.
"They might as well have put an ankle bracelet on me with a GPS on it and be able to track me wherever I go," Scroggins told The Guardian. "I feel like I am some kind of a prisoner, that my rights have been curtailed, have been restricted."
Cabot, one of the largest gas drillers in the state, holds the lease of 200,000 acres of land, nearly 40 percent of northeastern Pennsylvania, where Scroggins lives.
The company accused her of trespassing and causing irreparable harm to their business.
While the temporary injunction was granted Oct. 21, Cabot will seek to make it permanent in a March 24 hearing. Scroggins has hired an attorney to help her fight the injuction.
Since Cabot was not ordered to identify or map the areas where it holds leases, she’s been left trying to calculate just what roads or buildings she’s not allowed to use.
"We need a map," she said. "We need to know where I can and cannot go. Can I stop here, or can I not stop here? Is it OK to be here if I go to a business or if I go to a home? I have had to ask and check out every person I go to: 'are you leased to Cabot?'"
"It seems to be an extraordinarily heavy-handed reaction by industry and one which was extremely out of proportion to what she has been doing," said Kate Sinding, an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Scroggins has long been an outspoken critic of fracking the Marcellus Shale. She gives tours in the Dimock area, including those recently given to Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon and Susan Sarandon.