That’s right, the #ShaleInsight2018 conference descended on Pittsburgh, and with it a hoard of plastic-loving petro zombies rampaging through our lovely city. Let these costumed crusaders be a warning to all of us: with complacency comes petrochemicals! Only by joining together into a movement infused with ACTUAL life and intelligent thought can we ever hope to resist the forces that would see us colonized–in mind, body, and soul–by the petrochemical zombies!

Full press release from the zombies below photos.

There are still several petrochemical #RESISTANCE events you can attend this week. Check them out at: .

Photos by Maren Cooke unless labeled as Dianne Peterson Photography.

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Check out more of Maren Cooke’s zombie photos at:


For Immediate Release

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Sarah Martik, Campaign Manager



Zombies “Welcome” Petrochemical Industry to Pittsburgh for Shale Insight Conference

Petrochemical Zombies Showcase Public Health and Environmental Impacts of the Industry’s Presence in Appalachian Region

Pittsburgh, PA. – Today, rush hour commuters will be greeted by the living dead throughout the city as participants arrive at the Shale Insight Conference.

Appalachia has been identified as a hub for new petrochemical development, with industry executives looking to turn the “Rust Belt” into the “Plastics Belt” at a time when the world needs leadership to move away from fossil fuels and plastics. Royal Dutch Shell’s Beaver County Ethane Cracker plant will be the first in a series of other facilities running along the Ohio River, designed to “crack” ethane – a natural gas liquid – into ethylene and polyethylene to be exported to Europe for manufacturing. The increase in fracking across the region, coupled with the cracking process itself, will release additional greenhouse gases into the air, pushing us beyond crisis level for climate change in order to supply a product with a manufactured demand.

“Like zombies, this industry is a brainless idea sucking the life and future out of this region. We are already seeing plastics in our bodies and filling up our oceans. Instead of investing in this unnecessary disposable plastic and petrochemical economy we need to immediately invest in a regenerative economy. With the future of our planet hanging in peril we need to focus on dealing with the mess that we’ve already created not creating more climate crises,” says Anais Peterson, a student at the University of Pittsburgh and member of Free the Planet, who organized the Youth Climate March in Pittsburgh this past summer.  

This Appalachian petrochemical buildout has been supported by officials at the local, state, and federal levels, as well as by institutions like West Virginia University, whose Energy Institute has provided technical assistance to the development of plans for the “Plastics Belt.” Environmental advocates have called on elected officials to voice their concerns about the development of the hub, regardless of whether that development is within their jurisdiction.

“Our communities cannot afford the false promises of economic security from these boom-and-bust industries that always fail us in the end. When corporations resort to buying goodwill within a community, as we see so many of them do, it’s because we know and they know that their activity is dangerous and dirty. That’s not a just economy,” says Sarah Martik, Campaign Manager at the Center for Coalfield Justice, an environmental justice nonprofit based in Washington and Greene Counties.

The zombies have come out at the beginning of the Shale Insight Conference when attendees will be having a welcoming reception. This action is the first in a series throughout the week, designed to kick off three days of action to demand a better future than the picture being painted inside the Conference.


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