The US Department of Homeland Security has been spying on people who don’t like gas drilling and handing on the data to the oil companies.
According to recently leaked documents, the Pennsylvania Office of Homeland Security has been using high-tech tracking of anti-gas drilling groups and their meetings.
It has then sent bulletins to gas companies drilling in the Marcellus Shale.
The local State Homeland Security Director James Powers said the Oil Companies needed to have all the data because there have been “five to 10” incidents of vandalism around the state related to the natural gas industry.
He said that the briefings are sent to local coppers and the owners and operators of “critical infrastructure.”
However once the information has been sent to the oil companies they have been sharing the data and publishing it on pro-drilling internet site and disseminated among anti-drilling activists.
Powers admitted that was a cock-up and said he had emailed the woman who posted it.
In that email, which confusingly ended up in the paws of the anti-drilling groups, he was quoted as saying Homeland Security wanted to continue providing this support to the Marcellus Shale formation natural gas stakeholders, while not feeding those groups fomenting dissent against those same companies.
The status that Homeland Security is giving the anti-drilling movement is somewhat strange. The bulletin also includes information on anarchists, “black power radicals,” Ramadan, the “Jewish High Holiday season” and anti-war activists.
He confirmed to the local press that “someone” was monitoring the web traffic of the anti-drilling groups.
The protesters point out that the only thing Homeland Security has not given the oil companies is a “An enemies-of-gas-drilling” compiled by the government so that police can keep an eye on them.
They are calling for the government to investigate why public money was being used to spy for private companies.
They are not going to get much support from their local governor. His spokesman has gone on record saying that it was part of Homeland Security’s responsibility to “alert local law enforcement, local officials and potential victims” to any possible problems.