The grassroots citizens’ group Lebanon Pipeline Awareness, Inc. has announced it will hold a weekly protest on Friday afternoons from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. in downtown Annville to raise public awareness about the negative consequences of fracking, pipelines, fossil fuels, and global climate change, and to promote what it calls “a better path” of renewable energy and reduced consumption.
The initiative is called Project CHISPA (“spark” in Spanish), which stands for Challenge in the Streets to Pipelines in PA. The group has staged two protest actions, on Friday, July 13, and Friday, July 20. The Annville Police Department has approved a public assembly permit for the weekly action.
“Our goal is to make a living human billboard each week that challenges passing motorists to take seriously the pernicious consequences of fracking, pipelines, and fossil fuels,” said LPA Vice President Michael Schroeder. “We want to disrupt conventional understandings about how we get and use our energy, and to make folks more aware of the long-term consequences of extracting and burning fossil fuels.”
According to a press release, Project CHISPA couples its message about the negative consequences of fossil fuels with an emphasis on the “clean energy revolution” said to be happening now in Pennsylvania and around the world.
Studies cited by the group show that Pennsylvania in 2017 saw more than twice as many jobs in clean energy (70,000, mainly in solar, wind, and geothermal) than in the extraction of fossil fuels (34,000).
Project CHISPA provides volunteer sign bearers with high quality, easy-to-hold, hand-painted signs made of layers of cardboard. Examples of signs include “Fracking & Pipelines Poison & Kill,” “Fossil Fuels Cook Life on Earth,” and “There Is a Better Path.”
Volunteer sign bearers must register with LPA and strictly adhere to its policy of behaving peaceably and not impeding foot or motor traffic. For more information or to apply to become a volunteer sign bearer for Project CHISPA, email LebanonPipeline@gmail.com or call 717.274.0814.
How is this an animal rights issue?
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service admits that wildlife habitats are disrupted anytime a pipeline is built. Constructing a pipeline generally involves decimating native vegetation that is home to a wealth of species, some of them already endangered.
In the process, many newborn animals are killed, and the parent animals permanently lose the opportunity to nest and make families in the area of the pipeline. In order to ensure that the pipeline can be maintained, strong chemicals are used to prevent vegetation from growing back.