Vera Scroggins: In Contempt of Peace (and the Court?)

Vera Scroggins - Tom Shepstone reportsTom Shepstone
Natural Gas NOW


Vera Scroggins is, once again, demonstrating her contempt for the peace of her neighbors and, this time, may be in contempt of court, too.

We’ve monitored the Vera Scroggins trespassing case with great interest here, knowing how she has recklessly endangered others and disrupted the peace of the community where she resides in her dogged pursuit for attention. She has bamboozled more New York State politicians and newspaper reporters than anyone as she has conducted her gas field tours business in the backyards of her neighbors, all the while doing her golden girl activist schtick to great effect among those with politically correct templates.

Local reporters long ago realized who Vera Scroggins really was and stopped taking the bait (if they ever did) but she still managed to gain the sympathy of reporters such as Suzanne Goldenberg at the Guardian who, more or less, bought her fake story about being denied access to her doctor and having to search court records to learn where she could shop, even as Scroggins had in hand papers making it clear she didn’t need to do so. Something’s happened though. The Vera schtick may have crescendoed if the latest story by Suzanne Goldenberg is any indication.

Vera Scroggins

Our friend Doug Berkley saw it first and Tweeted out “She’s far from peaceful & defied court orders: Anti-#fracking activist faces fines/jail time,” causing me to read Goldenberg’s new piece in the Guardian. What I immediately noticed was a big change in tone. This was a mostly factual story that spelled out why Vera Scroggins may have crossed a line. Scroggins crossed it long ago, of course, but to read a story, from the same reporter who helped perpetuate the myth of her being denied medical care, that now acknowledges she may have gone too far is a gigantic leap in the world of dealing with media bias.

Still, Goldenberg can’t quite surrender her bias. Here are some self-explanatory excerpts from the latest Goldenberg story (emphasis added):

An oil and gas company is seeking fines and jail time for a peaceful anti-fracking activist in Pennsylvania, according to court documents.

In a motion filed this week, lawyers for Cabot Oil and Gas Corporation, one of the biggest operators in Pennsylvania, asked the Susquehanna County court to find longtime activist Vera Scroggins in contempt of an injunction barring her from areas near its well sites.

The row between Cabot and Scroggins became notorious in environmental and human rights circles after the company sought last year to ban the activist from an area of about 310 sq miles (803 sq km) – or about half the entire county. The scope of that ban was later reduced.

In the latest legal move, lawyers for Cabot argued that Scroggins showed “blatant disregard” for the ban when she escorted a Green Party politician and others on a tour of rural areas subject to heavy drilling.

The lawyers noted a contempt finding against Scroggins could trigger fines and jail time.

“Ms Scroggins may be subject to the following penalties for violating this court’s order: (i) fines; (ii) assessment of attorney fees; and/or (iii) incarceration”, the lawyers wrote.

The lawyers go on to demand Scroggins pay Cabot’s legal costs and attorney fees.

Included in the motion are photographs of Scroggins and other activists standing on a roadside which, Cabot alleged, was within 100ft (3om) of an access road leading to one of its wells in Dimock, Pennsylvania. An injunction in force since last March bars Scroggins from approaching within 100ft of access roads – even if she is standing on a public road, or on a homeowners’ private land.

Scroggins is well-known locally in Pennsylvania’s gas lands after making it her mission to conduct tours of heavily drilled areas in the countryside.

She has continued the tours, despite the injunction and despite being regularly photographed by security contractors for Cabot as she goes about her rounds. “If they see me, they always take pictures,” she said. “Every week.”

But Scroggins said she was not in violation of the injunction. “I would say no,” she said.

George Stark, a Cabot spokesman, said in an email that the company was acting on safety concerns. “Cabot is forced to take action because Ms Scroggins continues to defy a court order designed to protect her and others, including members of the public. Her actions are a direct violation of the court’s standing order,” he wrote.

“Cabot fully believes she understands the order, but has chosen to disregard the judicial system and the rights of neighbors and private property owners … Cabot respects Ms Scroggins’ right to free speech, but we also respect the court order and will act to enforce it. Nothing in the order restricts Ms Scroggins’ free speech.”

One is forced to question, as did Doug Berkley, what part of “peaceful” Suzanne Goldenberg doesn’t understand if she thinks an individual determined to block fire exits in a movie theater and invades other people’s property fits the bill. And, what’s this nonsense about “human rights groups” anyway? Yet, one cannot read the article without realizing the truth may finally be starting to descend upon Goldenberg: that Vera Scroggins deliberatively disturbs the peace by taking reckless actions intended to fill her pockets with sweet notoriety and loose cash from the money she charges for her tours.

One can sense in the report that Goldenberg is asking herself why Vera Scroggins would be so stupid as to violate a court injunction. It is, after all, one thing to take on Cabot and another to thumb your nose at the courts who have the power to jail you. Any reporter around as long as Goldenberg knows that much at least. Everyone in Susquehanna County knows why, of course; because Scroggins believes Goldenberg will make her a martyr if she goes to jail and no one wants martyrdom more than Vera Scroggins. It’s the purpose of her existence, the only thing that will satisfy her intense craving for attention, her real “mission.” That’s why she’s perpetually in contempt of peace, if not the court.

The only question is whether Goldenberg will play her designated role in Vera’s script. My guess is that she’d love to do it, but is having second thoughts about now. She should be.

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27 thoughts on “Vera Scroggins: In Contempt of Peace (and the Court?)

  1. Pingback: Vera Scroggins: In Contempt of Peace (and the Court?) | ShaleNOW

  2. This rein of terrror by Vera will come to an end hopefully. It seems to me her zeal for the cause will be her undoing. Considering the court backed down on the original judgement for Cabot put in place a sane person would think of staying home . Hopefully the courts throw the book at her . A couple of months in Jail and a fine is really in order

  3. Bilbo scroggins crawled out of the shire
    OVer the fence and soon got mired

    I’m green she yelled till turning pale
    but who really cares when your in jail?

  4. Tom, I’m noticing a trend here. Scroggins, Tillman, Jesse White, various foundations, etc., etc.? Are you switching to personal attacks just to be vicious or is it because you tend to lose any debate on the substantive issues surrounding your cause?

    • Well, actually, I can’t recall losing any to you, Cliff, on substantive issues. Your facts typically consist of fractivist talking points you typically accept at face value without researching further (case in point: your ignorance of water recycling and closed loop systems). I doubt you’ve ever visited a drilling or fracking site, in fact. Also, I can’t help but notice you don’t rise to defend any of these fellow fractivists.

  5. Vera regularly blocks local roads, films while driving (you can see her swerving around in her videos), shares the personal information of landowners who have signed leases and allowed drilling to occur on their lands, and verbally accosts local residents. Goldeberg’s refusal to report on this absolutely proves her bias. More importantly, it exposes her as a reporter who substitutes email and telephone research for actually getting out of her home office (and pajamas, no doubt), and into the communities she’s covering.

  6. I had a feeling that this Green Party candidate was going to be Howie Hawkins.

    Tom- I think Clifford and others who might accuse you of simply making personal attacks in a shoot the messenger sytle either have not met the messengers or are willing to turn a blind eye to their utterly unethical behavior because it suits their own purposes. I don’t know Ms. Scroggins, so I could not comment specifically on her activism, but I do know the activists featured in the posts I have linked to here. I find it ludicrous that this particular activist Kim Fraczek representing a group called Sane Energy is wearing a tee shirt that says the word Truth on it. Whether it is Ms. Fraczek or Clare Donahue or Patrick Robbins– the Sane Energy group specializes it seems in myth making and misinformation. I have never seen any of these activists say anything that came anywhere near truth ever in the two years since I first met them. Ever.
    Is it any wonder that this Green Party candidate’s version of an LNG delivery project proposed for offshore of Long Island is completely upside down when you consider that he gets his information from I’d bet both Vera the woman you have mentioned as well as the folks I am talking about?

    Cliff may find it hard to believe how fraudulent (for lack of a better word) these NYC fractivists actually are but I have witnessed their inability to convey anything but misinformation for the last two years in Brooklyn and Queens. And I’m not talking about just these Sane Energy, Occupy the Pipeline folks either. I mean NYers Against Fracking, Food and Water Watch, United for Action, the Sierra Club (certainly in NYC and the Atlantic Chapter) and more.

    Keep in mind the title of the videos and promotion of Mr. Hawkins visit with Ms. Scroggins—“Truth telling tour.” The truth as documented this movement’s own documentation of themselves appears to be that it is made up of a fairly small amount of unreliable, untruthful and unethical people who have extraordinary access to the press and self-promotion skills.

  7. Vera doesn’t…. “recklessly endangered others and disrupted the peace of the community ” only the gas companies and profiteers fear her .What she does however is bring to the public attention much needed information of what NG stands for .Don’t like what see does than go another way .Besides there are plenty more Vera’s out there and they will never be gone ! get use to it .

    • I don’t see hard hats, safety glasses, FRC’s, steel Toed Shoes, hearing protection. Etc. If she truly cared and thought it to be so dangerous would she not insist on PPE ???

  8. Just think of it! More Veras! If she wants to be a martyr, by gosh let her! How stupid would a adult have to be to teach children to tress-pass on an active drill site? Please Montrose make her famous for a year or so. Get her for endangering children ! Ta heck with tress-pass !

  9. Amazing how the law applies to Fracktivists only when it suits them. Common sense alone would keep people out of gas sites. Anyone leading tours on to these sites is irresponsible at the very least, negligent, and despite what she claims, cares nothing about others. I pray for the people who go on her tours who obviously have no sense that there’s never an accident that proves just how selfish she is.

  10. Wow, that’s an amazing video. She is barely off the highway and is accosted by the site manager.

    Can you imagine the impact this activity is having on the neighbors across the highway. They thought they had a life-time view of a peaceful valley.

    Based on the video I gather frack sites are immune to the proper silt barriers normally required to control runoff. In most states they would be shut down immediately and fined.

    • She might be barely off the highway, but she is entirely on private property and an active construction site. Proximity to a public space does not negate the actual boundaries of private property.

      Frack sites are certainly not “immune to proper silt barriers”. In fact, in PA and many other states, they are subject to strict E&S controls and numerous BMP protocols that are enforced by the regulatory agencies. A quick glance at DEP inspection records will tell you that is something they look at every time they enter a site.

      What you failed to notice, Cliff, is that the entire site runs downhill away from the road. E&S controls on that side of the pile would be of little use, but nevertheless, I would bet they were erected after work was finished.

      I don’t know what drives you to throw out generalities without any substance, but I would disagree that “in most states they would be shut down immediately and fined”. In most states, there would be an inspection, findings recorded and conveyed to an operator, a period of time for corrections to be made, and then violations and/or fines issued depending on severity and the quality of the response. That is how the real world works.

  11. I am so tired of people who do not live in this community defending Vera, she is trespassing on PRIVATE PROPERTY, the landowners stand with cabot, they do not(the landowners,) want Vera on their property, and the community does not want her disrupting workers ! they are trying to do a job safely and her constant badgering is distracting for them and frustrating! she stops her car in the middle of the road to film blocking all of us everyday citizens of this community from driving to our destinations! she has no regards for people’s PRIVATE LAND or the safety of others, how would you all like a bus load of strangers brought to your home and we open the doors and let them walk around, and when you ask them to leave Vera refuses, this is not her land!!!! I wonder how she bought that new car??? old clunker for many years and still retired, yet more money then she has ever had?? who is scamming who?

  12. Tom,

    I’ll debate you any day of the week in any public forum and you will lose badly. A debate is an hour of back and forth at a public forum. Now it is time for your smoke and mirrors trick and make people forget or poo poo the argument.

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  14. Pingback: Scroggins Lawyers Want Out? Sensitive Material? | ShaleNOW

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