What Ohioans Need to Know About Serial Protester Vera Scroggins

cost of renewables - Tom ShepstoneTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW


Vera Scroggins is now moving her attention to Ohio where Cabot Oil & Gas is exploring new territory, but Ohioans need to know a few things about her.

Vera Scroggins is the endearing “golden girl” of fractivist myth, lauded by those eager to treat her as the granny protester who takes on big oil. The truth, though, is a far different thing, which virtually everyone in Susquehanna County and environs knows all too well. Ohioans unfamiliar with Vera’s history can’t be expected to know much about her when she comments on fractivist Facebook posts and the like, but they need to learn quickly as she is already following Cabot Oil & Gas as that company looks to potentially expand its operations into Ashland, Holmes and Richland Counties there. They’ll be shocked when they dig into the matter; Vera Scroggins is no ordinary protester.

Those who desire to get a quick first-hand look at the real Vera Scroggins might want to look at these videos of her confronting Phelim McAleer, creator of the excellent documentary FrackNation during a fractivist publicity stunt:

Far from being a local concerned resident, these videos show an individual as removed from Ohioan manners and values as could ever be possible: a New Jersey transplant with a road rage personality.

Vera Scroggins is, in fact, one of those folks from the 1960’s who simply refused to grow up.  She absolutely revels in being a perpetual teenager, seeking attention by being outrageous, as these messages (No.’s 952 and 953) regarding her involvement in the naturist movement demonstrate.

Vera Scroggins also goes by the name of Vera Duerga and, occasionally, her birth name of Vera Otasevic.  She once owned land in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, but subsequently sold it to a group calling itself the Shanti Temple, although Vera once identified herself as an atheist and, subsequently, led other protesters in prayer (check out the video yourself, especially at 14:00 when Vera can be heard saying “Let’s pray,” followed by “just make sounds.”

She lives in a mobile home in Brackney, Pennsylvania shared with her adult daughter and grandchildren at last report.  She’s an internet junkie and participates in on-line outrageous discussions crossing every line of decency with respect to the commentary one would expect based on her press image as some innocent, eccentric and harmless old lady who is part of the local community.  Here’s more from a post I did five years ago:

The truth is this; Vera’s only standing to get attention and the thrill of sticking her thumb in her neighbors’ eyes.  Her most recent episode, where she blocked a fire exit in a movie theater where FrackNation was being shown and engaged in battle with the local fire police, is a perfect illustration.

She also loves the sleight of hand.  Who can forget her little video of Craig Sautner telling the EPA to drink his water?  Vera used a very short out-of-context clip to make it appear Sautner was simply challenging EPA representatives when, in fact, he was learning from EPA the only thing that made his water unsafe was his probably malfunctioning sewage system, a fact that turned him into a raging bull and caused the EPA to walk out.  Fortunately, for all of us, Lisa Barr released a video showing the entire episode.  It’s all chronicled here.

Then, there was the time she tried blaming an algae bloom on natural gas drilling and apparently told a New York State Senator that was the case long after learning the opposite, but he inadvertently set the record straight, which caused her to lecture him.

Vera Scroggins

And, of course, there’s this:

Vera Scroggins

A lot has happened and a lot has been learned since then to add to Vera Scroggins’ resume. In the latter category, there is Vera’s appearance (at about 0:45) in a trash movie called Vomitorium. 

Then, in 2014 something happened during one of the numerous court hearings regarding Scroggins’ repeated violations of court orders to stop trespassing on gas well sites. It was “one of those enigmas wrapped in a riddle” as three of Vera Scroggins lawyers (she was represented by the ACLU and a group known as Public Citizen) asked to withdraw their appearances as her attorneys. One would think getting the ACLU to want out is next to impossible, given its history, but Vera Scroggins managed to do it.

During the testimony, the issue of returning personal photos suddenly arose. Apparently, these photos were inadvertently included in Scroggin’s answers to some interrogatories from Cabot’s attorneys. Scroggins attorneys, who continued to represent her under court order, described the material as “accidental” and “sensitive.” It came out that Scroggins apparently wanted Cabot to either return the photos or agree not to refer them to criminal authorities. What was so bad as to cause three politically sympathetic lawyers to want to resign and Scroggins to worry about a criminal referral? Something bad, apparently.

Scroggins’ trespass saga, of course, has been an unending one, as she has violated one court order after another. It’s all part of a campaign of self-aggrandizement and attention seeking on a grand scale. She makes increasingly outrageous claims and does increasingly outrageous things in her constant struggle one-up her last 15 minutes of fame. Her rhetorical screaming about violations as if Cabot were running wild in Susquehanna County, for example, is easily debunked by running a DEP report for Susquehanna County from January 1, 2007 through yesterday, which shows the following:

Vera Scroggins

There were, over the 11+ years a total of 6,760 DEP inspections of Cabot operations and, during that time, there were but 355 inspections that turned up violations, meaning that 95% of inspections turned up no violations. Moreover, there were but a paltry 0.8 violations per well over more than a decade, with performance improving every year.

This is despite the DEP habit of attaching multiple violations to single incidents in the manner (e.g., “you spilled some fluid on the well pad, it could have led to some pollution if not corrected and you didn’t report it properly, so that’s three violations for you”). So far this year, there have been a total of 145 inspections and only two with violations, raising the no violations rate to just shy of 99%. The rate for all of 2017 was also over 98%.

That’s a pretty darned good record for a company that’s invested literally billions of dollars in Susquehanna County and revived its economy, not to mention  multitude of other benefits (tallied here by a our guest blogger, Chris Acker). Ohioans who give a darn about the future of Ashland, Holmes and Richland Counties ought to think about that and consider who Vera Scroggins really is before they buy into her self-promotion as a prophet of doom.

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44 thoughts on “What Ohioans Need to Know About Serial Protester Vera Scroggins

  1. she is not all that bad
    I can say i have Bad water Cabot oil and gas can care less about telling the Truth after they Make a Mess and you suffer Cabot will keep Blowing smoke up your a$$
    just to make you feel They are working on a Fix !

    That is the True Reason They can’t stand Vera ! They can’t stop free speech of the Truth ……..

    • I offered you an opportunity to lay out the facts as you see them and you didn’t bother, Ken, so you’ll have to do a lot better than this.

    • Free speech requires elements of truth, not plain bluster, and guster . ken, the lady in question has neither, please present the facts in a more ordained manner, and restrain yourself from presenting fact from fiction.

    • The harder they hit her the more she will swing back. This is not an in it it win it anymore. It’s about knowing what you are up against and trying to protect your water in the process. Facts are available to verify what she says. To throw mud at Vera just shows desperation of an industry that has had it’s day. For the record Vera was invited to share her comments on our Hayesville Community on Fracked Gas page and support our Tri County Coalition a group that seems to be getting some attention.

  2. this is your usual smear piece against anyone who is not pro-gas like you and your usual twisting of the facts and issues to use your agenda. and you’ve been writing for the Industry and supported by the Industry for many years now.

    here is a video showing the other parts of the Phelim McAleer visit in Dimock that you show only a part of…Phelim leaves this part out also…where he provokes, trespasses on private property and told to leave and gets kicked off by the owner of the property and Phelim’s harassing tactics:

    also, you leave out conveniently that Cabot is the one of two companies in my county that has a DEP Consent Order of 2010 that restricts Cabot from drilling/fracking in 9 sq.miles of Dimock in my county where Cabot polluted the water wells of over 2 dozen homes..
    see consent order:

    My lawyers from ACLU and Public Citizen dropped me after I refused to sign the injunction agreement that they and Cabot attorneys crafted and I disagreed with and found it was too restrictive
    for an American Citizen to be told where she can park , drive, walk on public roads in my county near Cabot sites. And I wanted to have a trial to show my innocence from trespassing and they would not do it and cited financial and time constraints with all their cases pending with other clients.

    Here is the full DEP Compliance List with all the Violations for Cabot and not just for 2017:

    Total DEP Violations for Cabot in my county is now up to 660…!!

    Ohio landowners can lease their property to Cabot if they want to ; it’s a free country.
    Just be careful…make sure you get the highest prices per acre and the highest royalty interest/profit rates..
    in my county , we got a high of $6300. per acre up front price for signing on, called a sign-on bonus.
    and our highest interest percentage on profits for royalties is 21 %…
    don’t settle for their lows…
    and don’t settle for their boiler-plate leases but settle for better ones and ask attorneys and I can send the best lease in my county created by a group of landowners and lawyers to protect the landowners and environment in the best way. I can send it to you.

    Tom, please get info correct about my living set-up, which is I live alone with my dog and not with my children or grandchildren..and have not lived with my children or grandchildren in my mobile home and I live in a mobile home by a lake and am retired and on social security and volunteer many hours a week to expose the harms in my county since 2008..

    I didn’t block any entrances in our theater. I stood near it since the theater was full and no seats and others stood near me also and no police or fire people put in a complaint …

    Good luck if you decide to deal with Cabot and their fantasy stories of all the great things they will do for you and if you believe in Industry promises…check out all the past Industry horror stories of pollution and leaving a mess behind and the government wheels move slowly for any justice.

    • Thank you Vera for standing up against corruption and the dirty oil behind the mask. When I reached out for you kind supporting words little did I know the industry puppets would start to play on your good work and stregnth as you stood up against these atacks so quickly. We have a strong and growing movement within our Tri County Coalition here in Ohio. The fact you have been attacked so quickly must mean Cabot feels threatned. Hope to see you in Ohio soon. Majority of our farmers are standing strong against this invasion. Non resident farm owners are another story, they care nothing about their neighbors and surely do not need this dirty money. This is where greed rules emotion and people in the path of this greed are the collateral damage. When we see FriendsForEJ we don’t think Looney Tunes we think Vera Scroggins.

      • We see VERA has no ownership of any farm residence in the immediate area, and is basically a old hand activists, that decries big business and employment opportunities for the greater good of farming communities,they have no allusions about the public greater good they appear to be selfish activists who live a laid back comfortable lifestyle, and just like the greens oppose everything, and everyone, their self imposed lifestyle involves paying no local taxes or property rates, transgressing on private property, harassment, intimidation, and threatening behaviour, on public citizens, their funding channels appear dubious to say the least where charitable status hides a hidden agenda of public violations of peoples rights,good to Exon- Mobile fighting back, and challenging the lawyers, who are party to these corrupt practices, a Rico law-suit is way over due for these activists who flaunt the laws of American society, seemingly at will.!!!!

        • If you want the truth on gas drilling the last person you need to talk to is Vera… she can’t tell the difference between a water separator and a frack water tank. She thinks a drilling rig is a roughneck in a bar buying her a drink. She is the town joker in Dimock PA. Ask yourself why are only 8 pa residents in Susquehanna county out of several thousand protesting drilling and most live in trailers on 1/4 acre lots

      • Elaine,
        How do you yourself feel about promoting the use of biogas generated by landfills and municipal/agricultural digesters?
        Much like the concept of “Zero Waste”, would it not be wise to utilize the end products of these processes as an example of best use management?

          • Your premise that natural gas development destroys the earth, is wrong. That is the point.

          • Good morni g Tom, I call it like I see it and would not expect you to do the same since you readers are driven by the i dustry. When you know what you know you do what you must and that my friend is why these attacks are your way to sell you stories and why I refuse to waste anymore time reading or responding to what appears to be a smear campaign on this feed. Water is life and facts are facts you cannot hide what is going into our water. We will be back on the river soon and Cabot is not my only problem so for now we are headed towards the NEXUS pipeline. Appears we have organized our little Tri County Coalition and Cabot is where we want them. For now.

          • Elaine, I am an agnostic so I question the existence of a “God”. Besides, you didn’t answer the question. Properly operating wastewater treatment facilities provide clean water and produce a natural byproduct that can be beneficially used as a energy/heating source. So your comment is vapid attempt of responding to a topic you know little about.

    • The Renewable manufacturing industries around solar panels, is a horror storey of large scale pollution, with grave environmental concerns, if you are purchasing solar panels, please be aware of there country of origin labelling, this is of particular concern, also the environmental regulatory standards are so lax around Renewables that sustainability of the environment has harsh implications on a global basis for our future generations, like Vera we may all become caravan dwellers, our standards of living around energy security will be harshly felt, certainly we have a looming energy crisis, not well understood by vera, the petroleum sectors face increasing pressure, which will not sustain our quality of life, ..https://lnkd.in/fiW8Xkt

    • Vera ranting about trespassing? LOL!!! that’s a good one! Have any other whoppers you’d like to tell? So your social security checks are what you use to run around all over NY state and elsewhere? Tell me again why it is that you still live in all that pollution and poisoned air and water in PA and don’t pack your bags for frack free NY? There are lots and lots of folks pouring into NY from those 30 other states that allow fracking. JUST KIDDING! Moron Cuomo’s policies are so horrific that NY has lost over 1 million residents since the fool came to power. A big reason is due to his fracking ban that so many impoverished landowners now are selling their property at fire sale prices thanks to you and your sidekicks Ray and Craig. Nicely done, Vera.

  3. Vera, thanks for reminding us of “your usual twisting of the facts and issues to use your agenda.” Sounds just like you.

    Somehow the Susquehanna River Basin and their 8+ years of 50+monitoring stations can’t seem to find any of these “past Industry horror stories of pollution”.

    Maybe you can sell your brand of nonsense in Ohio: it doesn’t get you any attention in PA or NY any more.

    • I am still waiting for Vera to support clean energy from anaerobic digesters that would help address water quality issues from agricultural runnoff like manure and help control “climate change gasses” like methane since she appears to be full of it.

  4. Having checked the video posted by Vera Scroggy, Mr Phelim McAleer acted with restraint and decorum, in his questioning of these bus tooting fractionist’s, clearly the video shows Mr McAleer being intimidated, harassed and threatened by these activists,considering Vera has trespassed on numerous properties over the years, the video has no validation, Mr McAleer and his camera man were under siege from these viciferous activists

  5. Ugh. Vera. I was/am very active in anti fracking organizations. That’s neither here nor there but Vera? Fake fakeity fake fake. She’s weird and a bit off. Google her ‘movie’ Vomitorium. Freaking disgusting. There are far more reputable antifracking organizations to align with besides Vera. Shes disgusting and a media wh**e. No matter what your stance, pro or con, distance yourself from her.

      • To my fellow (former) environmental regulators in Ohio, when Ms Scroggins calls you to complain about whatever the tragedy du jour is, tell her straight up she has 5 minutes and 3 questions. Take notes because you’ll hear the same story again and again. She has little to no credibility, believe me.

  6. DEP expects Cabot to turn in any of their mistakes. Lol Put a child in a candy store and tell them not to touch it and if they do they need to tell so they can be punished. Explain why I have 3 different water test results….why I have 3 sinkholes in my driveway and trees sinking. None of this occurred until 4 to 6 weeks after they drilled. DEP said the sinkholess could be woodchuck holes. Head of trappers association said a bear couldn’t dig those holes. Explain my trees sinking. DEP isn’t honest….they are to protect the people…. Well then why are they lying???? Vera is trying to expose the truth.

    • Ms Petrochko, your complaint was received 4 to 6 weeks after hydraulic fracturing activities, not drilling. And the horizontal is vertically approx 7,400 feet deep and horizontally 1,500 to 2,000 feet (if my memory serves) distant to the northeast. That function did not cause SETTLING on your property. Most likely insufficient compacting if backfill materials, organic materials, stumps, etc. And don’t forget the historic Twp dump on that land area.

    • The bigger thr threat the harder the attack. Vera must be under someones skin to muster up this much attention. Tests and documentation keeps these issues up front and center. To align with Vera was by choice. To align with big greens like Oil Change international, EarthWorks, Sierra Club and a few others is out of necessity. Facts on fracking and the industry are readily available to support these yruths.

    • This is exactly what we intend to prevent in Ohio. Our farmers love their land and intend to protect it and their water. We have many allies in this movement that are not afraid to step up. I have seen some low blows on this feed. The fact stones are still being thrown confirm smoke and mirrors and her Friends For EJ are not buying in. Thanks for sharing some truths.

  7. Quote ” My lawyers from ACLU and Public Citizen dropped me after I refused to sign the injunction agreement that they and Cabot attorneys crafted and I disagreed with and found it was too restrictive for an American Citizen to be told where she can park, drive, walk on public roads in my county near Cabot sites. And I wanted to have a trial to show my innocence from trespassing and they would not do it and cited financial and time constraints with all their cases pending with other clients.

    Here is the full DEP Compliance List with all the Violations for Cabot and not just for 2017:”

    No. Vera your lawyers probably left you because you indeed are fracked in the head. When the ACLU and other freebee lawyers leave, it usually is that a defendant is their own worse enemy. I will not going into an ad hominem attack of you. However you were confronted by Ezra Levant about your strange views. Is the real reason you are so anti-fracking due to your naturalist lifestyle and you’re concerned some poor derrick worker will fall off the tower when they see you in your old glory ?

  8. You seem to be somewhat knowledgeable unlike other dep employees. We’d love to speak with someone who would actually like to make an attempt to rectify our numerous issues complaints and problems

  9. So I went to Frack Free Ohio’s website and posted true facts about Vera. Not only did they remove the post, they blocked me from ever commenting again leaving this calling card

    “Thanks for weighing in from B.S. University. Your industry talking points are spot on! I think many of us will remain skeptical however…”

    • Vic,

      It’s truly amazing how intolerant these people are of other opinions. They can’t stand criticism and won’t address challenges – they cannot.

  10. I read that she promotes sexual relations with children as a way to introduce intimacy. Google it. She’s gross.

    • If you have read this somewhere it is obvious you are reading a sick persons material. If you believe this you also appear to be sick. These kind of comments should be banned from public posts and you should be charged with slander.

      • Elaine, with all due respect, you haven’t followed the links in the original article or you wouldn’t be saying what you did here.

        • Tom, We have Cabot beating down every door in our community. Perhaps you should read what the people say on the links provided by our community members that intend to fight back. People are responding that have delt with Cabot in PA and have real truths to share. Vera is not the only person telling the truth about what will happen if these projects move forward. They cannot all be wrong. To respond further on this feed just slows down the real work as It is the way to environmental justice. Thank you for reminding me how desperate this iindustry really is.

          • Vera, of course, is not telling the truth and you’re determined to ignore who she is and what she’s about.

          • Vera’s big problem is that Cabot caught her and pursued the rampant trespassing she has performed. She received no money from Cabot for land as she had sold it years earlier to the Temple. Jealousy is a posion pill swallowed hard.

  11. My Dear Spuds you said it right…when the systems are properly working. These antiquated system in the US are not equipped to filter out what they were designed to do. The up to 1000 chemicals used in fracking cannot be filtered out. Perhaps you should attend the Shale Network Workshop at Penn State and get your more facts on what we know. Sorry we will be with our FriendsForEJ at the Extreme Energy Summit and will not be presenting there this year. But you can catch our FFEJ panel at the 41st Appalachian Studies Conference on April 7th in Cinncinatti. We do have experts on our panel that will help you out. We will be addressing water quality in particular from fracking operations and the petrochemical hub consequences we see coming downstream. Now back to my real work of exposing what is being dumpped into our aquifers be it farm runoff or chemicals used to frack our wells of people that cannot afford flirtation systems on thier wells that are yet to be designed. We call this environmental justuce. Any more questions?

    • Elaine,

      You obviously know next to nothing about hydraulic fracturing. Please keep commenting so others may observe this as well.

      • LOL. I hope they pay you well and you get to sleep at night. When you know what you know you do what you must. I do not pretend to know it all like some on this feed. I do however have the best connections as an organizer which is what I do. Until recently that is all I know. So bear with me and I will get better at not wasting my time and get back to work. It’s been real but time to stop beng your entertainment and let you watch me grow.

        • Hello all,

          I am a Masters candidate at the University of Manchester, Disaster Management Program. Currently, I am working on my thesis which focuses on the oil industry in the context of the natural gas development in Pennsylvania.

          I would greatly appreciate if you could find the time for a brief interview regarding how you understand the oil industry maintains its legitimacy.

          Thank you very much for your attention to this. I look forward to your response.

          Sara Cox

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