Activists with the environmental advocacy group Fighting Against Natural Gas (FANG) say they remain committed to their fight against an upgrade of Spectra Energy’s natural gas facility in Burrillville. Spectra Energy is responding to the protest.
Three activists face charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct after they chained themselves to equipment at Spectra’s Burrillville site. They’re protesting an expansion of natural gas infrastructure because they believe investing in fossil fuels threatens public health and the environment, and undercuts renewable energy sources, like wind and solar.
Marylee Hanley, a spokeswoman for Spectra Energy, said the company encourages people to contact local and federal officials if they have concerns about Spectra’s projects, but trespassing crosses the line.
“We can neither tolerate nor allow unauthorized individuals from entering onto our company property,” said Hanley. “That is trespassing. Trespassing is unacceptable and we will prosecute.”
Activist Matt Smith from New Jersey is one of three protesters arrested this week. The three now face charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct. Smith said FANG has plenty of other people ready to step in.
“We’re going to keep fighting. This is not going to go away,” said Smith. “Spectra should expect even more resistance. This is just the beginning. Until they abandon their plans to destroy clean water and wreck the climate, they can expect growing resistance.”
The project is intended to expand a pipeline system that runs from New Jersey to Massachusetts to bring more natural gas to the region.
Hanley said in 2012 Spectra Energy gave people several opportunities to share their concerns at public meetings. The expansion has already been approved by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Note: This post has been updated.
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