ITHACA, NY – Crestwood energy has, apparently, landed itself on Santa’s naughty list.
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At least that was the claim on Monday, when a group of protesters – dressed as Santa, his elves, Frosty the Snowman, and the Grinch – once again blockaded the entrance into the Crestwood gas storage facility. 13 people, 7 of them Tompkins residents, were arrested for disorderly conduct for stopping a truck hauling construction equipment, according to a release by activist group We Are Seneca Lake.
The demonstrators held a giant banner reading “Dirty energy = naughty, clean renewables = nice.” Other signs read “All I want for Christmas is clean air and water” or called on Santa to bring solar energy for Christmas.
The protesters staged a similar demonstration last year. Ms. Claus, who appeared there with her husband last year, was conspicuously absent.
December has been a busy month for the Seneca Lake group – and for the Schuyler County Sheriff’s department. Monday’s protest was the fourth in a string of such actions this month, including a 30-strong rally celebrating the one-year anniversary of New York’s fracking ban last week, where nine were arrested.
The total number of arrests in the ongoing campaign has now reached 452.
The group continues to fight construction of the storage facility, which will be used to store methane, propane and butane – much of it, they say, produced by fracking – beneath the shores of Seneca Lake. According to the group’s statement, construction has not yet begun on the facility, “whether due to low natural gas prices or the ongoing action campaign.”
“I’m here today to make sure kids know who’s being naughty and nice,” said “Santa,” also known as Stefan Senders of Hector. “Crestwood has been very, very naughty by promoting the use of natural gas, which is making climate change worse. The people getting arrested at the gate, on the other hand, are very, very nice and are working hard to protect all of us.”
Here are some more selected photos form the event, courtesy of We Are Seneca Lake:
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