Chevron in Romania

ChevronThe yellow means “drill” to Chevron. Romanians disagree. 

On Monday, a bunch of Romanians told Chevron to go to hell and take their fracking operations with them. (It probably sounded more like “du-te dracului.”) Chevron workers were sent to drill the company’s first test well in the southeastern European country, but they were turned back by protests.

Romania’s government sold Chevron the rights to frack the shale beneath more than a million acres of Romania. Residents worried about the environmental consequences are accusing Prime Minister Victor Ponta of breaking an election promise to block drilling for shale gas.

More from Agence France-Presse on the protests near the village of Pungesti:

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The convoy was forced to turn around as protesters, some of whom had come in horse-drawn carts, called on Chevron to “go home”. …

“We will not let them drill here if we must die for this,” said one of the villagers, Gheorghe Hrum, a retired forest warden.

“They came with policemen and bodyguards to scare us but all we want is to be left alone, even if we are poor,” he added.

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It has been a busy couple days for eco-minded Romanians. On Sunday, thousands of Romanians poured into downtown Bucharest and into the streets of smaller cities to protest plans by Gabriel Resources for a new gold mine. The Canadian company wants to use cyanide to mine four mountains for hundreds of tons of gold and silver.