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Croatan Earth First! Protests Fracking In Western NC

One of two wooden tripods built by protesters in front of an entrance to a chemical plant in Morganton, NC. A person was perched at the top of the contraption for several hours, preventing vehicles from entering or leaving the plant.
Croatan Earth First

Members of an environmental group protested Monday morning at the site of a chemical plant in Morgantown about 80 miles northwest of Charlotte. Members of the group Croatan Earth First! demonstrated at the Momentive plant. The company makes chemicals, one of which is used in hydraulic fracturing, the controversial process of extracting natural gas from underground rock.

Protestors set up two large tripods in front of the main entrances in an effort to shut down the plant for the day.

“So the tripods are about two stories tall, made of wood," said Maria Rowan, a spokesperson for Croatan Earth First! "And at the top of each is a person sitting. And they are blocking the gates so no vehicles have been able to come or go from the Momentive plant."

Rowan said she witnessed seven people get arrested. The Morganton Police Department would not confirm that figure late Monday afternoon. In a written statement a spokesperson for Momentive said: “the company believes modern hydraulic fracturing is a safe, sophisticated, highly engineered and controlled procedure.”

The process of fracking has the support of the governor and many state legislators, but has not yet started in the state. 

Jeff Tiberii covers politics for WUNC. Before that, he served as the station's Greensboro Bureau Chief.
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