Reports that anti-Marcellus Shale gas drilling groups and events have been monitored by the state have left a state senator asking for repercussions.
James Powers Jr. the head of Pennsylvania’s Department of Homeland Security hired The Institute of Terrorism Research and Resources to track township and ordinance meetings regarding Marcellus Shale gas drilling as well as a public viewing of Gasland, a documentary about the environmental and health effects of gas drilling.
State Senator Jim Ferlo said he will be filing complaints with the US Department of Justice’s Office of Civil Rights alleging that the group violated the civil rights of residents by monitoring them without an appropriate pretext of threat or violence. He is also filing action with the state Ethics Commission and the Office of the Inspector General and asking for a right-to-know request to make public documents related to the incident. But to restore public trust that citizens are not being illegally tracked, Ferlo has another request.
"I’m demanding that he resign or be fired for the egregious activities he’s been involved with and the administration def the scope of services of the knowledge in his involvement in violating individual civil liberties and people’s rights," he said.
Information gathered by the group was sent to law enforcement agencies – as well as to gas companies companies drilling in the Marcellus Shale.