Posts tagged petroleum

Human Rights Petition: We Demand that Tim DeChristopher be Removed from Confined Isolation

Tim DeChristopher has been pulled out of his minimum security camp at Herlong federal prison in California and thrown into isolated confinement in an 8 x 10-foot cell. His latest crime? Sending an email to a colleague with a “threat” to give back a $25,000 donation to his legal defense fund because he discovered that his donor was exporting U.S. manufacturing jobs.

In 2011, Tim DeChristopher was sentenced to two years in prison for having non-violently disrupted a federal auction of oil and gas leases in 2008. The auction itself was later found to have violated the government’s own rules and the parcels were pulled from the market. Tim was indicted a few months later even after the government removed the parcels. Judge Dee Benson said during sentencing that Tim would not be facing jail time if he had not been so outspoken as to the necessity for his actions.

When he heard about Tim’s email through unknown sources, an unnamed U.S. Congressman called and told prison officials that Tim was threatening people outside of prison. With that, Tim was hauled off to the Special Housing Unit known as “the hole,” where he has been ever since.

It is absurd that one phone call from an anonymous Congressman places Tim in indefinite confined isolation for exercising his First Amendment rights.

Tim will be in legal limbo until the investigation into the semantics of the word “threaten [to give back the donation]” in his email is complete. He will remain in indefinite detention in The Hole until that time and not granted a hearing until the government’s investigation is complete.

Tim DeChristopher should never have been put in jail in the first place.Tim should not be in isolated confinement right now. Sign the petition and then call the following numbers and demand:

“Tim DeChristopher inmate #16156-081 be immediately removed from the Special Housing Unit (SHU) and placed back in the Minimum Security Camp at FCI Herlong.”
Pennsylvania law states that companies must disclose the identity and amount of any chemicals used in fracking fluids to any health professional that requests that information in order to diagnosis or treat a patient that may have been exposed to a hazardous chemical. But the provision in the new bill requires those health professionals to sign a confidentiality agreement stating that they will not disclose that information to anyone else—not even the person they’re trying to treat.

"The whole goal of medical community is to protect public health," said David Masur, director of PennEnvironment. He worries that the threat of a lawsuit from a big industry player like Halliburton or ExxonMobil for violating a confidentiality agreement could scare doctors away from research on potential impacts in the state. "If anything, we need more concrete information. This just stifles another way the public could have access to information from experts."

The provision was not in the initial versions of the law debated in the state Senate or House in February; it was added in during conference between the two chambers, said State Senator Daylin Leach (D), which meant that many lawmakers did not even notice that this “broad, very troubling provision” had been added. “The importance of keeping it as proprietary secret seems minimal when compared to letting the public know what chemicals they and their children are being exposed to,” Leach told Mother Jones.

Again, fracking is very, very bad, kids. And natural gas exploration corporations own Pennsylvania.