Energy. Environment. Economy.

Opponents build wooden structure to block Atlantic Sunrise pipeline

Mark Clatterbuck (right) of the group Lancaster Against Pipelines carries woods from the sight of what opponents are calling 'The Stand.'

Marie Cusick/ StateImpact Pennsylvania

Mark Clatterbuck (right) of the group, Lancaster Against Pipelines, carries woods from the site of what pipeline opponents are calling 'The Stand.'

Opponents of the Atlantic Sunrise interstate natural gas pipeline are building a wooden structure in southern Lancaster County, in an attempt to block the pipeline’s construction. Mark Clatterbuck of the group, Lancaster Against Pipelines, says they were inspired by Native American groups’ opposition to the Dakota Access oil pipeline earlier this year. He says the structure will serve as a place for people to come together.

“Our whole point is to say, ‘We’re not going to let you come through,’” he says. “This is a blockade for the project. We want to derail the project.”

Nicknamed “The Stand,” the structure is located on a farm in Conestoga, in the path of a proposed route. The group plans to hold a dedication ceremony Saturday.

The $3 billion Atlantic Sunrise pipeline, proposed by Williams Partners LP, has not yet received final approval from federal regulators. It’s designed to move natural gas from northeastern Pennsylvania southward to markets along the eastern seaboard. Clatterbuck says protesters plan to occupy the structure if and when pipeline construction commences.

“We understand there are individuals who have expressed concerns about the project,” says Williams spokesman Chris Stockton in an email. “We’ve also heard from thousands of individuals and groups who support the project because they recognize the important role it will play in growing the state’s natural gas industry, creating consumer access to an abundant supply of clean, affordable energy while delivering significant state and local economic benefits.”

In recent years there has been a big push to expand the region’s network of pipelines, as Pennsylvania gas producers face record low prices and infrastructure related supply constraints. More gas is also needed for electric power generation, as coal-fired plants retire.

A final decision on the Atlantic Sunrise is expected from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in the spring. The project has already received preliminary approval. In May, the commission issued a draft environmental impact statement saying the pipeline would not create significant adverse impacts.

FERC was supposed to issue its final environmental impact statement October 21, but said Thursday it would delay the release and extend public comment. The final EIS is now expected December 30. The move follows a minor route change request by Williams. Some Lancaster County residents have also asked to have the route moved back to the original plan, closer to existing utility right-of-ways.


  • Mark

    Hmmm, Building permit? Don’t see one posted in the picture. Or is this just another area where they only enforce laws they like? Local code enforcement should be issuing cease and desist orders immediately.

    • Mike McDermid

      Come on Mark, you’re a smart guy. We are talking about left wingnuts here. They only follow their hearts. The rule of law, regulations, ordinances, etc are ignored as long as they are “pure of heart.”

      • C.G.

        First off, if they were wingnuts they’d sit around using vibes to keep the pipeline off there land or some other silly hippie shit.

        However it’s funny you both are all Hooting and hollering about these land defenders when the gas industry follows the same “rule of law” you mentioned. This project isn’t approved yet they’re surveying, felling trees, etc all on private land!

        You look silly when you spout this leftist drivel with it’s commonplace for the gas industry and to a larger scale.

        • Mike McDermid

          You might note that PRIOR to submitting an application for federal approval all of the local and state right of ways, easements, surveys, etc. approvals must be completed FIRST.

          So who’s looking silly now? (Next time I suggest you do your homework first, so you don’t look so foolish.)

          • Karen Orlando

            I don’t think you are correct on the order.

        • Karen Orlando

          You seem a little behind the times on what pipeline resistance whether the agitprop kind covered here or the kind where you wear a ulock necklace getting arrested looks like. People don’t sit around using “vibes”. They might lay down in a pipeline construction ditch as if it were a mass grave like karenna Gore did and get arrested. Or they might lock themselves to a car, someone else or a piece of equipment . Lots of things are done, have been done and have been all over the news now for years.

      • Robin Franciscus Maguire

        And I am not a left wingnut, I am a grandmother who cares about what I am leaving for my grandchildren. There is a Native American tradition that says you must think 7 generations out. I follow this with my heart and deeds

        • Mike McDermid

          Yes you are a wingnut. Wingnuts, like yourself, believe that “feeling” are above the law. They are not.

          If you don’t want a pipeline, then get off your lazy backside and run for office, write your representatives, write a letter to the editor, BUT THAT DOESN’T GIVE YOU THE RIGHT TO BREAK THE LAW!

          We are a nation of laws, not vigilante wingnuts.

          A quote comes to mind: “The
          activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the
          river.” — Ross Perot

          • David

            I don’t know about Ms Maguire, but I think I’m more of what you’d call a ‘right’ ‘wingnut’ who believes in private property ownership, that the gas company shouldn’t just be able to steal your land, with the government’s cooperation, whenever and wherever.

          • Karen Orlando

            Doesn’t matter if you are a left ‘wingnut’ or a right ‘wingnut’. The important word in the sentence is ‘wingnut’.

            There are some people you can join up with to get arrested David.


          • Maggie Henry

            Better than the likes of you and your kind who prostitute themselves for the gas industry! You are not worthy to dust the industrial crap off Bill’s shoes!

          • Karen Orlando

            Maggie Henry I would suggest that you not call me a prostitute online again or imply that I work for natural gas industry. I don’t. Likely you have been told already by me that I don’t. Plus there is ample evidence that I don’t prostitute for natural gas industry as you claim in both the certificate order on the rockaway pipeline project where my name appears since I intervened in that project plus I am also in the port ambrose docket as well.

            If you are referring to Bill mckibben well Mr mckibben is not my guru, my father or anything else. He doesn’t represent me plus I am not impressed by his leadership. You want to get arrested following bill mckibben you are certainly free to though and so is the gentleman who by the way referred to himself as a right wing nut .

          • Maggie Henry

            Why the hell would it fall on the activists to clean up the mess left by corporations? You are the wingnut… Or a corporate troll!!
            Environmental laws prohibit messes, or they are supposed to. But often they leave the mess, declare bankruptcy and reorganize the very next day leaving the cost to the taxpapers and the masses afflicted with the mess. This is what you are standing up for and name calling people that object to being poisoned? Really? Who is the wingnut? @Mike McDermid

          • Mike McDermid

            Hear a buzzing noise Maggie? That would be my point going over your head.
            To make this simple for you, I am saying DO SOMETHING WITHIN THE LAW!

            Illegally building a shack on stilts to block a pipeline is the simpletons approach. Getting elected, rewriting the law, “cleaning up the system” is much more difficult, but in the end more effective.

            Ya get it? Sadly, probably not……..

          • Maggie Henry

            No, I dont hear any buzzing Mike! I’m guessing what you are hearing is the short circuiting of neurons in your own brain that somehow allow you to think and post the stupid stuff that you do. Sorry no known cure for the disability!

          • Mike McDermid

            “Ya get it? Sadly, probably not……..”

          • Karen Orlando

            I have you a thumbs up for we are a nation of laws not vigilante wingnuts plus for having to deal with this Maggie Henry just like me.

          • Maggie Henry

            Awh, poor Karen! Have to deal with me! On a monday morning as well. Darn!

          • Karen Orlando

            Genuinely I feel for anyone who has to deal with you Maggie. What is your mo? It isn’t anyone who doesn’t agree with you is a natural gas prostitute? Have you said something similarly nasty or untrue about me or to me before? I’m going to guess the answer is yes Maggie and that the behavior isn’t limited to me.

            Generally speaking the antifracking pipeline resistance movement can target anyone who isn’t pledging allegiance to or with the movement.

          • Maggie Henry

            I’m sure they appreciate your sympathy! I’ll pass it along. ROTFLMAO!

        • Maggie Henry

          Too bad FERC doesn’t consider this with their ridiculous EIS! They are funded by the very people seeking the permits!!!

          Please stop this pipeline and all pipelines so they will quit fracking and poisoning us in the shalefields. The real reason to get the gas to the east coast is to export it to Europe and China so Russia won’t have influence and they get higher gas prices! They are poisoning Americans in
          their ridiculous power plays!!

      • John

        Obviously you either do not live in or around the Lancaster area, or you work in tandem some way with either the big oil industry or a similar bloated corporation which puts its interests before those of the consensus. You’re quick to bring up the issue of a land permit although you did fail to bring up the 400+ treaties that were ignored by the U.S. government with indigenous people in regards to fracking and coal mining on sacred protected lands also violated by eminent domain and aggressive tactics of the like. You’re racist, homophobic, xenophobic, and unfortunately another product of what the government hoped to achieve in turning what you amongst others consider patriotism although it is purely imperialism. When the government goes to the lengths of ignoring local municipalities for the interests of corporate gain, the perverted reach of imperialism and fascism takes center-stage. Become informed, read a book or article not regurgitated by the extreme right-wing. I encourage you to read any publication by Chris Hedges, or watch his show Days of Revolt. Hopefully minister Hedges can illustrate to you the error of your ways.

    • Kimberly Cummings Kann

      Called The Stand because it is a deer stand. No permit required.

  • Robin Franciscus Maguire

    No permits were needed- we follow the laws unlike the gas industry

    • Karen Orlando

      Will you be moving into “the stand” full time Robin? How many people can live in “the stand” and for how long? Inquiring minds want to know.

  • Karen Orlando

    Wow. A treehouse minus the tree or some kind of house on stilts in the proposed pipeline’s path? I’m trying to think of all the creative things that I have seen with pipeline protests whether right in the proposed path or let’s say down at ferc where pancakes were cooked at a pancakes not pipelines protest and perhaps some people got arrested.

    So…I think a Thoreau cabin, some blued trees, maybe some corn, probably something was done with keystone xl or maybe more than one thing, I think plants were placed on even construction equipment with Dakota pipe and pretty sure some people had a shipping container dropped off and then locked themselves in it!

    So many creative pipeline protests and so little time.

    • Kimberly Cummings Kann

      Kind of disgusting you are having so much fun with the fact we are facing losing our family homes, safety, and largest financial asset so a corp. can get rich exporting natural gas.

      • Karen Orlando

        Kim– as an FYI the art builds and agitprop and arrest stunts are billed as fun and also as a sort of community building by the activists themselves.

        Also not sure who you are referring to when you say “we are facing losing our family homes, safety and largest financial asset so a corp can get rich exporting natural gas” either. Who is the we?

        Are you referring to the specific pipeline proposal mentioned in this article kim or have you perhaps gotten arrested over another pipeline or perhaps because of fractivism?

  • Kimberly Cummings Kann

    We have been working as hard as humanely possible within the law. We are involved in local government and politics. You fail to consider when you give this recommendation that these propane are forced on communities who do not have nearly enough time to get involved in the process before decisions are made. That is by design. Our local Reps. Miller and Cutler are sponsors of HB 2355 to fast track all gas activity by negating all agency ( DEP, EPA etc.) regulations controlling the natural gas industry. They serve the natural gas corps, not us, their constituents. We will get no help from them. We are engaged in the courts already. Not much left, to do, is there, and that is where we are.

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »