The Global Letdown – also known as the Global Frackdown, sponsored by Food and Water Watch – continued yesterday in Ohio with another disappointing turnout. In a continuation from this weekend’s non-events, the group decided to protest the Utica Shale Summit 2014 at the Canton Civic Center in downtown Canton.
Well, they tried to protest it, at least.
The Utica Shale Summit 2014, sponsored by the Canton Area Chamber of Commerce and the Canton Repository, drew a crowd of roughly 300 attendees who came to learn more about how Utica Shale development is revolutionizing Ohio. The event hosted speakers focusing on many topics, ranging from how shale development is boosting manufacturing to the potential of compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles.
The crowd was excited to learn that Utica and Marcellus development may produce about 1.5 million barrels a day of natural-gas liquids and about 24 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. With this new abundance of fuels and feedstock for our residential, manufacturing and transportations sectors, Ohio will be poised to be an economic hotspot in the near future.
Of course, groups like Food and Water Watch, Stark Summit Coalition and the Stark County Concerned Citizens wanted to make a scene, so they decided to do what any level-headed, rational group would do: they built a giant, fake toilet.
This particular protest was advertised extensively, including the main Global Frackdown page and numerous anti-shale Facebook sites. They even managed to get their press release published by an actual news outlet. Due to so much publicity, one would assume this protest would be something that would draw a sizable crowd.
Alas, that turned out not to be the case. As the Utica Shale Summit winded down for the day and folks went home to be with their families, the protest was nowhere to be seen.
As I was by my car talking to a colleague and getting ready to go home, up the street came about a dozen people to protest an event that had ended at least 30-45 minutes earlier.
After informing them the event had ended, the opposition was undeterred. The group of 12 people stood outside the empty Civic Center, protesting an event that was not even taking place.
In continuation of the Global Frackdown events from over the weekend, Wednesday’s event was as much of a nothing-burger as the others. It was all hype and no substance. But hey, at least they could check the box of having protested an empty building.