Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)
Vera Scroggins admits it’s all about credibility but refuses to see she has none. She seeks martyrdom, but does anyone other than State Impact give a damn?
A little-known (outside of northeast Pennsylvania) anti-driller, Vera Scroggins, was fined $1,000 Thursday in Susquehanna County court. Vera’s biggest claim to fame is her potty mouth treatment of FrackNation filmmaker Phelim McAleer (watch it here). She is a repeat trespasser on Cabot Oil & Gas drilling sites and has been warned, repeatedly, to stay off their land–for her own safety and the safety of others. She may now pay price for that and wants the martyrdom but that assumes someone still cares.
Scroggins runs so-called tours where she shows New York City celebrities and other urbanites (who don’t know the difference between a cow’s udder and a roof gutter) the gas fields of Susquehanna County, claiming drilling operations somehow harm local residents. The judge has had enough. He said at the hearing that Vera has 45 days to pay the fine for her latest violation and if she doesn’t, she’s going to jail. Vera maintains her latest violation wasn’t a violation–that the court is relying on the testimony of someone who lied under oath about seeing her trespass.
The anti-drilling PBS StateImpact Pennsylvania is always ready to take up Vera’s cause:
A Susquehanna County judge has fined anti-fracking activist Vera Scroggins $1,000 for getting too close to a natural gas site earlier this year. The money will cover part of the legal fees incurred by the region’s biggest gas driller– Cabot Oil and Gas. The company has repeatedly sought to have her held in contempt of court for violating an injunction to stay off its property.
At a court hearing Thursday in Montrose, Scroggins maintained her innocence and hopes to appeal the fine.
“[Cabot] had a false witness, who was willing to perjure himself under oath, and the judge found him more credible. I am not willing to pay a fine for something I didn’t do.”
If she doesn’t pay within 45 days, she could go to jail. Judge Kenneth Seamans didn’t seem to mind that possibility.
“If there’s a fine and she doesn’t pay it, she’s going to jail.” he said. “And I’m going on vacation.”*
Editor’s Note: I didn’t bother going to Vera’s latest hearing. Frankly, it’s just boring anymore. The only people there are the parties involved, a handful of fractivist hangers-on who don’t seem to have real jobs, the local reporter and, of course, State Impact, which uses taxpayer and tax-free money to lend a hand in making her a martyr for the cause. Still, I’m glad State Impact covered it, for several reasons.
First, they reveal their bias every time they write about Vera and giver her the pen to say what she wants. Their credibility ebbs with hers.
Secondly, it was nice to see Vera acknowledge the truth. “The judge found him more credible,” she said referring to the witness who saw her trespassing. Yes, credibility is what it’s all about and after previously violating the judge’s order, effectively thumbing her nose at the judge throughout all the proceedings, playing to sympathetic journalists and supporters in the audience, reneging on a settlement, lying about being prohibited from visiting the doctor and a history of orchestrated antics designed to attract attention to herself, she has none left.
Thirdly, these lines at the end of the story from Vera Scroggins’ attorney are extremely gratifying:
“In addition to probably spending six figures on lawyers to keep going after Vera, they have also disrupted my life,” he says. “This is the third time I’ve been subpoenaed to come up here. It just shows the lengths to which this gas company will go to suppress dissent.”
These are the words of radical attorneys who will go to any length to disrupt the activities of others but subpoena them, cost them money and interrupt their lives to fight back and they cry like the spoiled babies they are. What a pitiful response revealing the true nature of the fractivist sham.
What will happen? It certainly wouldn’t surprise me to see Vera Scroggins’ attorneys urge her to pay and be done with it, as they’re already crying buckets over the disruption of their lives and budgets, but Vera would certainly enjoy the martyrdom of going to jail, sure to attract more attention to her, so she might well overrule them yet again as they scramble to unload this embarrassing client. (Whatever happened, by the way, to that “something’ bad” Vera threw into the material she sent to Cabot’s attorney during depositions?) It could go either way but does anyone (other than State Impact) give a damn anymore? Apparently, Judge Seamans doesn’t. He’s going on vacation after that.