Hawkins Blasts Cabot Gas Move to Jail Anti-Fracking Leader Vera Scroggins

Hawkins encourages Rob Astorino and Andrew Cuomo to Take Scroggins' Fracking Reality Tour

Howie Hawkins issued the following statement supporting his Fracking Reality Tour Guide, Vera Scroggins, against Cabot Oil & Gas Corp, which is seeking to jail her in court today for an alleged violation of her injunction during Hawkins' tour a few weeks ago.

Last Friday, Republican Gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino sent out a late afternoon press release saying that he would not be going on a gas industry tour of fracking sites in Pennsylvania until after the election because the company providing the tour — Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation — refused to allow members of the press on the tour.

At the same time, Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation is seeking fines and jail time for grandmother, local resident, citizen journalist and anti-fracking tour guide Vera Scroggins for leading me and my campaign team on a fracking tour. Cabot alleges that she violated a temporary injunction banning her from leading groups to view areas near Cabot's frack sites and to meet families whose water, land and health have been impacted from this toxic process. We didn't have to cross any property lines to see from the public road what these frack sites look, smell and sound like. There is no way to hide how large scale and dangerous this industrial process is. The defendant in court today should be Cabot Oil & Gas, for polluting the water supply of Dimock, PA and ruining people's lives there, not Vera Scroggins.

I stand by Ms. Scroggins and her Constitutional rights to freedom of speech and right to move freely. I commend her for her heroic endeavors to shed light on and show the world what fracking really looks like. What I saw on Ms. Scroggins' tour is more than enough to reaffirm my opposition to fracking in New York state. As Governor I will ban fracking; unfortunately, Governor Cuomo cannot be trusted at all to ban fracking. Besides the environmental disaster that fracking is, and the step backward it represents in the fight to turn the tide in the global climate crisis, we can't allow big oil and gas to come into our state, or any state, to bully citizens and take away their rights.

I encourage Rob Astorino and Andrew Cuomo to take a real tour of fracking sites in Pennsylvania, from the citizens affected, not the gas industry which won't even allow journalists to see what they're doing.

Video of Howie Hawkins on the October 9th Scroggins-led fracking tour can be viewed at: http://www.howiehawkins.org/dimock_pa_videos

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