As reported by the Guardian and other news outlets, Cabot Oil and Gas Corporation is going to great lengths to keep Pennsylvania environmental activist Vera Scroggins out of sight and out of earshot. So much so that the company obtained an injunction barring Scroggins not only from Cabot-owned properties but also all properties in the county where Cabot has a lease to extract gas from under the surface of the land – a category that includes the homes of some of Ms. Scroggins friends; her grocery store, auto mechanic, rehabilitation center, and recycling center; and even the hospital closest to her home.
Does a gas company’s right to extract gas from under the surface of the land give it the right to dictate who comes on the surface, even for properties where the company has no active drilling operations? No, it doesn’t, asserts Public Citizen in a brief filed today in cooperation with Sayre, Pa., lawyer Gerald A. Kinchy and the ACLU of Pennsylvania. Furthermore, we argue, the injunction against Scroggins is overbroad and violates her constitutional rights to freedom of speech and freedom of movement.