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NC chemical plant blocked in anti-fracking protest

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 8, 2013 at 4:11 pm •  Published: July 8, 2013

Protesters erected the pair of three-legged, 20-foot-tall wooden structures at the plant gates. Each has a protester stationed on top, and their safety could be imperiled if they were forcibly removed or the tripod toppled, said Rowan, 44, of Carrboro. As many as 100 other people were lying down in the entrance road, she said.

The group aims to stop the spread of fracking to North Carolina, where lawmakers have created a commission to establish rules that would allow the process to be used to extract gas from underground rock, Rowan said by telephone from the scene.

Supporters say fracking will bring a much-needed economic boost. Some scientists believe some North Carolina counties may hold large deposits of the gas. But fracking opponents are concerned about possible harm to people and the environment.

Columbus, Ohio-based Momentive Specialty Chemicals Inc. was working with law officers "to ensure the safety of all parties," spokesman John Kompa said in an emailed statement.

"MSC is committed to providing innovative, safe and effective solutions designed to help increase the efficiency of oil and gas operations," Kompa said. "Hydraulic fracturing has been used by the oil and gas industry since the 1940s and has become a key element of oil and natural gas extraction worldwide. We believe modern hydraulic fracturing is a safe ... and controlled procedure."

Momentive Specialty Chemicals is owned by parent company Momentive Performance Materials Holdings LLC, which was formed in 2010 with the combination of Momentive Performance Materials Inc. and Hexion Specialty Chemicals Inc. The parent company is controlled by Apollo Global Management LLC, which is known for buying troubled brands and later selling them for a profit. Apollo's investments include fast-food chains Carl's Jr. and Hardee's.