FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Two arrested for blocking pipeline construction
June 16th, 2016, West Roxbury, Boston, MA — Out of concern for the effects of global climate change and public safety, 2 Massachusetts residents were arrested, Derek Pelotte, a high school teacher in Lowell, and James Michel, a youth basketball coach in, and resident of, West Roxbury, for blocking construction on the West Roxbury Lateral Pipeline.
The peaceful civil disobedience occurred on the morning of Thursday June 16th in West Roxbury. The two entered the site of construction at 8:30 a.m. and were arrested after refusing to leave.
The two were charged with trespassing and disturbing the peace and will receive summons in the mail.
Spectra Energy is building the controversial West Roxbury Lateral Pipeline (WRLP), to carry fracked gas from shale deposits in Pennsylvania. The WRLP will have 750 pounds of pressure per square inch, twice the pressure in pipeline that exploded in San Bruno, CA in 2010. The pipeline is routed through residential neighborhoods, adjacent to people’s homes, under a soccer field, and along side of a quarry where there is active blasting.
While Spectra’s project has been permitted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), it has been met with strong local resistance by both citizens and municipal government. The City of Boston is still suing to stop the project, 84 people have been arrested so far in peaceful civil disobedience, including Michael Butler, a selectman in Dedham.
“We all know that we need to transition as fast as possible to 100% renewable energy,’ Derek Pelotte said when asked why he is risking arrest. “But we’re still investing in more fossil fuels, guaranteeing that the people who are born right now will have to sacrifice far more than we would need to, just to keep their homes, cities and countries above water and healthy. My students are why I do this. Their future is why I do this.”