Frack Off Romania

The Romanian antifracking campaigners hail the UNITE Labour Union antifracking motion

The Romanian antifracking campaigners are hailing the news that the biggest Labour Union in UK, UNITE, with more than 1,5 million members across the UK, has restated its support for the antifracking fight in the UK. Last Thursday, after debates and increased activity on the subject of fracking, UNITE has adopted a motion put forth by Gerard Sheridan, representing the NW region of Merseyside (area around Liverpool), seconded by Tony Staunton. The new motion is reaffirming the commitment of the UNION Labour Union in the antifracking fight put forth already in 2012, at the Unite Policy Conference.

The document is briefly summing up the dangers of fracking, underlining its possible substantioal impacts on the climate change and the aggressive pursuit of this practice in the UK, despite the growing concerns regarding fracking worldwide. (more…)


Sandra Steingraber’s Statement in Response to Events in Pungeşti

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Originally posted on 17.06.2014, on Health and Environment Alliance’s page:
sandra steingraber_357x325_

Sandra Steingraber spoke about the health impacts of fracking at a public gathering in Pungesti, Romania on 11 June 2014, just prior to the walk along the village road that prompted police brutality.
On Wednesday 11 June, I traveled to the remote community of Pungeşti in eastern Romania’s Vaslui County. Rising from a field bordering the village of Siliştea, near the only public road in and out of the area, is a drill rig installed by Chevron for purposes of shale gas “exploration.” Villagers told me that drilling had commenced in May. This rig—the first shale gas well in all of Romania—went on line in spite of an intense, months-long oppositional campaign by locals that was joined and supported by activists from all over Romania. (more…)

Sandra Steingraber, New Yorkers against Fracking, about her visit to Pungesti

(Please scroll down to the interview nr. 4 in the playlist of the youtube chanell of Epoch Times Romania, located in the upper left corner of the screen)

Sandra Steingraber visited Romania last week and was impressed by the resistance there. Furthermore, she saw water bubbling in the water wells along the road leading to the rig and cracks in the houses and a terrible unceassing noise.
Her conclusion is that in Pungesti and in Romania, the democratic process has been fractured in the name of energy security, but an energy security that is definitely not going to serve to the very ecologically leaving community in Pungesti, nor to Romania, who is already producing 130% of its gas needs.
She is also telling the story of the episode she has experienced there when she wanted to go to the rig, together with the villagers in Pungesti, yet they were prevented by the riot police defending the site, who has blocked the road with fences. When the people tried to pull away the fences and proceed to the rig, the riot police used tear gas.

Furthermore, the activists in the area organised a meeting inviting officials in the county, mayors, the president of the County Council (a very vocal Chevron lobby-ist) to listen to Sandra Steingraber’s on the fracking imacts. Even though they first accepted the invitation, none of them showed up at the meeting.

Another sign of how any serious talk about fracking is being blocked was the fact that the 15 minutes interview with Sandra Steingraber, due on Friday, 13th of June, upon her arrival from Pungesti, with a central television, was in the end turned into a 2 minutes minor news. This was short notice change and it came from a television who previously presented a lot of information against fracking, made huge audience on the subject and then, out of a sudden, pulled back from the subject in a very strange way.

Earlier las week, Sandra Steingraber met with a few members of the Romanian Parliament (from a small party and a independent member of the Parliament, Remus Cernea) and with the activists in Bucharest.

Sandra Steingraber week in Romania has been very honouring and inspiring for our fight and surely very informing for her. Earlier las week, Sandra Steingraber met with a few members of the Romanian Parliament (from a small party and a independent member of the Parliament, Remus Cernea) and with the activists in Bucharest.

The fight must carry on!
No fracking here, no fracking anywhere!
No gazaran!

Sandra Steingraber, NYAF, witnessed the police turning violent and using tear gas in Pungesti

Sandra Steingraber, the co-founder of New Yorkers against Fracking visited Pungesti yesterday and she had the “chance” to see how the Romanian riot police is working…for the benefit of the local community. After having visited the Romanian Parliament, where she presented some key facts regarding the tremendous impacts of fracking in the USA, followed by a meeting with the fracktivists in Bucharest, she went straight to Pungesti, where she wanted to meet the villagers, for whose sufferings she wanted to appologise, as an American, just like the Company that is causing so many problems in Pungesti, Chevron. Here is an excerpt of an article in the local newspaper, Vremea Noua, from last night, after the situation turned very heated after the police blocked the road (a public road), and the people wanted to remove the fence from the road. Even though it was a regrettable situation (Sandra was not involved in the fight, she was some 20 meters behind where it all happened), Sandra Steingrabber and her colleagues could get an idea of the tense situation and the deprivations the community in Pungesti has gone through during the past months.

Image Image

“The situation in Pungesti where the first drilling rig was installed for exploration and exploitation of shale gas was tense again. Tonight in the village was present Dr. Sandra Steingraber from U.S.A. She has presented a brief history of villagers’ unhappy experiences with shale gas extraction based on the method of hydraulic fracturing. After consulting with the villagers, the American biologist concluded that what happened in the U.S. happens in Romania: Chevron receiving servility from politicians and carrying out economic purposes despite the fact that this activity is bad for locals. After this meeting, Dr. Sandra Steingraber wanted to go to the area where the drilling rig is installed. At that time, the police blocked the road with fences. Approximately 50 villagers who were in the area tried to cross the fences but the “brave” riot policemen used tear gas in response, against villagers, mostly women and elderly!”

More pictures to be seen in the article

In the film you can see the riot police using tear gas. 


21th of May, International Anti Chevron Day. Bucharest

21th of May, International Anti Chevron Day. Bucharest actions.

On the 21st of May, Romania joined the woldwide protests the disasters Chevron has caused all over the world where they have oil and gas operations, but also against its undemocratic, repressive means undermining the basics of democracy. The action was coordinated by the committee in Ecuador who has helped the 30.000 Ecuadorian peasants in their apparently never-ending fight against Chevron. 
In Romania, we had protests organised in 4 locations, 2 of them in perimeters concerned by Chevron fracking operations, such as Pungesti and Mangalia, and Bucharest, the capital city, and another socially very active city in Transilvania, Sibiu. 
The event in Bucharest focused on two types of actions: 
one documented in the pictures, having a strong awareness raising dimension, by means of impactful images of the diasasters Chevron left all over the world. We had 30 series of 11 stickers with images placed in 30 bus stations in Bucharest. 


Here some pictures of the action:

The second action was a flash mob that was played in 2 locations in Bucharest, focusing on the “cosy” relationship politicians have with Chevron and “strategic investors”, in general.

Here is the link with the English subtitles. ImageImage


The tormenting message of the children in Pungesti to the world

On the occasion of the International Children Day, we talked to the children in Pungesti and we ask them what they wanted. They have struck us with their mature wishes. They just want to stay in Pungesti, lead the simple life they have led for years, be left alone, they want clean water and clean air. And they have made a very good point: we are not poor, we consider ourselves rich because we can produce our own food. In fact, they made another point: You have everything, if you are healthy.
And of course, free.
They are about to lose it all, all their future, all their hopes, this due to fracking and Chevron and to a state that has long forgotten why it is there for.

First victim of the first Chevron fracking site in Romania (EN/FR/IT/DE/ES/GR)


Please understand that due to the strong security of information measures taken at the site, we are not yet in the position to deliver more information on the identity nor the circumstances of the accident. We are looking into it and we will keep you posted with news as they arrive. Meanwhile, we have created a petition asking Chevron and its subcontractor to come out publicly with an explanation. The incident was further more covered in silence due to the visit of Joe Biden, the vice-president of the USA, to discuss especially about Romanian Government’s plans to go ahead with fracking projects at an ever higher speed, on the background of the Ukrainian situation.

Please share this information with all the media available for you, this is how we can put more pressure on Chevron to disclose information. They definitely started with the wrong foot in Romania. And they keep rolling at the same crazy speed.

Pungesti, fracking accident, secrecy, undisclosure of information, Chevron, toxic, chemical substances, death, driller

Pungesti, fracking accident, secrecy, undisclosure of information, Chevron, toxic, chemical substances, death, driller

Press release. Please share in your networks.

EN: A fatal work accident has occurred the night of 18-19 May on the Chevron platform in the village of Pungesti, Romania, where a worker employed by the Dafora company has lost his life. According to local sources belonging to the Movement of Resistance in the village, the worker, who died instantly, was a victim of lethal substances stored in the immediate vicinity of the well. Despite draconian restrictions, anonymous sources within the Dafora company have confirmed the tragic event. Also, villagers reported the presence of an ambulance on site, and unusual activities within the Chevron occupied perimeter. From information obtained so far, the body was transported to the Institute of Legal Medicine in Bacau, and the prosecutors and work inspectors have started an inquest into this case. The fact that the press has not yet been tipped off about this serious incident leads us to believe that authorities are trying to suppress any information, in order to avoid fueling fears among the population and environmental activists with regards to the extreme toxicity of the substances that will be injected into the soil. Just as a reminder, Chevron recently started exploration work through hydraulic fracking in Pungesti, despite strong opposition from the local population.

FR: Communique: Un grave accident de travail, qui a causé la mort d’un employé de l’entreprise Dafora, s’est produit dans la nuit du 18 au 19 mai 2014, sur la plate-forme de forage dans le périmètre occupé par Chevron à Pungesti, en Roumanie. Conformement à des sources au sein du Mouvement de Résistance de Pungesti, l’ouvrier, qui est décédé sur place, a été victime d’inhalations de substances létales, stockés à proximité immédiate de la sonde. Malgré des restrictions draconiennes, des sources à l’intérieur de l’entreprise Dafora ont confirmé, sous le couvert de l’anonymat, le tragique évènement. Les villageois ont également remarqué la présence d’une ambulance sur les lieux et une précipitation inhabituelle du personnel au sein du périmètre loué par Chevron. D’après nos informations, le corps sans vie de l’ouvrier a été transféré à l’Institut de Médecine Légale de Bacau et des procureurs et inspecteurs du travail ont lancé des enquêtes sur l’affaire. Le fait que la presse n’a pas été informée jusqu’à aujourd’hui sur ce grave incident permet de dire que l’on essaie de passer sous silence l’accident, afin d’éviter d’alimenter les craintes de la population et des militants écologistes sur l’extrême toxicité des substances qui seront injectés dans le sol. Nous rappelons que les travaux ont été lancés par Chevron Pungesti malgré la forte opposition de la population locale et visent à explorer et exploiter du gaz de schiste par la méthode de la fracturation hydraulique.

IT: Nella notte tra il 18 e 19 maggio c.a. si è verificato un grave incidente di lavoro in cui ha perso la vita un dipendente della società Dafora, sulla piattaforma del perimetro occupato dalla Chevron a Pungesti. Da fonti della “Miscarea de Rezistenta”(n.t. Movimento di Resistenza) del posto, l’operaio che è deceduto all’istante, sembra sia stato vittima di sostanze letali, depositate proprio vicino alla trivella. Nonostante le restrizioni draconiane, fonti all’interno della società Dafora hanno confermato il tragico evento, sotto la protezione dell’anonimato. Inoltre i contadini hanno osservato la presenza di un autoambulanza sul luogo e un’agitazione inusuale del personale all’interno del perimetro Chevron. Dalle nostre informazioni, il corpo privo di vita e stato trasportato all’Istituto di Medicina Legale di Bacau, e i Procuratori della Repubblica ed Ispettori di Lavoro hanno avviato un inchiesta sul caso. Il fatto che sino ad oggi la stampa non è stata informata riguardo a questo grave incidente di lavoro ci legittima ad affermare che si tenta l’occultamento della notizia per non alimentare i timori della popolazione e degli attivisti ambientali riguardo all’estrema tossicità delle sostanze che verranno iniettate nel suolo. Ricordiamo che i lavori a Pungesti sono stati avviati da Chevron nonostante la forte opposizione della popolazione locale e hanno come scopo l’esplorazione e l’estrazione di gas da scisto attraverso la fratturazione idraulica.

DE: Ein tödlicher Unfall ereignete sich in der Nacht von 18. zum 19. Mai 2014, auf der Plattform der Schiefergassonde innerhalb des von Chevron besetztes Gebiet in Pungesti-Rumänien. Ein Angestellter der rumänischen Firma Dafora ist gestorben. Laut der Hinweise aus der Widerstandsbewegung „Miscarea de Rezistenta“ ansässig in der Ortschaft, .ist der Mitarbeiter sofort gestorben, als er Kontakt mit den giftigen Stoffen hatte, welche in der unmittelbarer Nähe der Schiefergassonde deponiert waren. Trotz der strengen Verpflichtung zur Geheimhaltung haben dennoch Quellen aus der Firma Dafora diese Informationen über der tödlichen Unfall bestätigt unter der Einhaltung der Anonymität. Die Bewohner von Pungesti haben einen Krankenwangen vor Ort und rege Betriebsamkeit bei den Arbeitern auf dem Plattform der Schiefergassonde von Chevron gesehen. Laut unseren Informationen wurde die Leiche des verstorbenen Mitarbeiter der Firma Dafora in das Leichenhaus Bacau untergebracht und die Staatsanwaltschaft zusammen mit den Sicherheitsverantwortlichen haben die Untersuchung gestartet. Die Tatsache, dass bis heute die Presse über den schweren Arbeitsunfall nichts berichtet, gibt uns das Recht zu sagen, man versucht den Vorfall zu vertuschen um die Ängste der Bewohner nicht zu schüren, so wie die von den Umweltschützer, da es sich um extrem giftige Stoffe handelt, die dafür vorgesehen sind in den Boden zu injektieren. Es wird daran erinnert, dass die Arbeiten von Chevron in Pungesti gestartet wurden trotz massiver Oposition der Bewohner und diese das Ziel haben, bei der Schieffergasgewinnung die hydraulische Frakturierung zu verwenden.

ES: Nota de prensa . Por favor, comparta en sus redes .Un accidente de trabajo fatal ha ocurrido la noche del 18 a 19 mayo en la plataforma de Chevron en el pueblo de Pungesti , Rumania , donde un trabajador contratado por la empresa Dafora ha perdido lavida. Según fuentes locales pertenecientes al Movimiento de la Resistencia en el pueblo, el trabajador, que murió en el acto , fue víctima de sustancias letales almacenados en las inmediaciones del pozo. Pese a las restricciones draconianas , fuentes anónimas dentro de la empresa Dafora han confirmado el trágico suceso . Además , los aldeanos informaron de la presencia de una ambulancia en el lugar, y las actividades inusuales dentro de la Chevron ocuparon perímetro. De la información obtenida hasta el momento, el cuerpo fue trasladado al Instituto de Medicina Legal en Bacau, y los fiscales e inspectores de trabajo han comenzado una investigación sobre este caso . El hecho de que la prensa aún no ha sido avisado sobre este grave incidente nos lleva a creer que las autoridades están tratando de suprimir cualquier información, con el fin de evitar alimentar los temores entre los activistas de la población y el medio ambiente en cuanto a la extrema toxicidad de las sustancias que se inyecta en el suelo . Así como un recordatorio, Chevron inició recientemente los trabajos de exploración a través de fracking hidráulico en Pungesti , a pesar de la fuerte oposición de la población local.

GR: Ένα θανατηφόρο εργατικό ατύχημα συνέβη τη νύχτα της 18ης προς 19η Μαΐου στην πλατφόρμα της Chevron στο χωριό Pungesti της Ρουμανίας, όταν ένας εργαζόμενος της εταιρείας Dafora έχασε τη ζωή του . Σύμφωνα με τοπικές πηγές που ανήκουν στο Κίνημα Αντίστασης στο χωριό , ο εργαζόμενος , ο οποίος πέθανε ακαριαία , ήταν θύμα των θανατηφόρων ουσιών που φυλάσσονται σε άμεση γειτνίαση με το πηγάδι εξόρυξης. Παρά τους δρακόντιους περιορισμούς , ανώνυμες πηγές εντός της εταιρείας Dafora επιβεβαίωσαν το τραγικό συμβάν . Επίσης , οι χωρικοί ανέφεραν την παρουσία ενός ασθενοφόρου στο χώρο, και ασυνήθιστες δραστηριότητες εντός της περιμέτρου της Chevron . Από τα στοιχεία που έχουν συγκεντρωθεί μέχρι στιγμής , το σώμα μεταφέρθηκε στο Ινστιτούτο Νομικής Ιατρικής στο Bacau , και οι εισαγγελείς και οι επιθεωρητές εργασίας έχουν ξεκινήσει έρευνα για την υπόθεση . Το γεγονός ότι ο Τύπος δεν έχει ακόμη ενημερωθεί για το σοβαρό αυτό περιστατικό μας οδηγεί στο να πιστεύουμε ότι οι αρχές προσπαθούν να αποσιωπήσουν οποιαδήποτε πληροφορία , προκειμένου να αποφύγουν να πυροδοτηθούν φόβοι μεταξύ του πληθυσμού και των περιβαλλοντικών οργανώσεων σε σχέση με την ακραία τοξικότητα των ουσιών που θα χύνεται στο έδαφος. Να υπενθυμίσουμε πως η Chevron ξεκίνησε πρόσφατα εργασίες εξερεύνησης μέσω υδραυλικής ρωγμάτωσης στο Pungesti , παρά την έντονη αντίθεση του ντόπιου πληθυσμού .