Govt. Agencies Begin Monitoring Natural Gas Opponents

Shale controversy sparks fear of violence


State and federal law enforcement agencies have begun monitoring the activities of activists who oppose natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania.  A bulletin from the Pennsylvania Office of Homeland Security expresses concern that both drilling opponents and advocates could turn violent.

Gov. Rendell’s office says several acts of vandalism have hit drilling facilities in the last two weeks. A few involved firearms. But spokesman Michael Smith says no evidence has been found to connect drilling foes to those acts.

This week, the online news service ProPublica published a Pennsyvania Intelligence Bulletin that details F-B-I concerns about militant environmentalists targeting the state’s burgeoning gas drilling industry. The Bulletin listed a number of events that could be attended by natural gas drilling protestors, including a Philadelphia screening of the anti-drilling documentary Gasland.

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