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Environment & Energy

British Cosmetics Firm Funds Pipeline Protest Camp

Marie Cusick
StateImpact Pennsylvania
Protester Tony Smith works at an encampment that's emerged in Lancaster County to protest the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline. It's largely funded by U.K. cosmetics company, Lush.

Opponents of the Atlantic Sunrise natural gas pipeline have raised tens of thousands of dollars for a new encampment in Lancaster County, but most of the money is from one source–  British cosmetics firm, Lush.

Lancaster Against Pipelines recently received $22,000 through a Lush program called Charity Pot. Grants are intended to support animal protection, the environment, and human rights. “The majority of our funding is allocated to smaller groups who struggle to find funding elsewhere,” the company says on its website.

Credit Al Behrman / AP
Sales associate Susan Walter stands in the middle of a Lush beauty and bath display, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2008, in a Macy's store in Cincinnati.

  Read more about the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline here.

The green beauty brand markets the Charity Pot as a “philanthropic skin softener” made with fair-trade shea butter. A large jar retails for $27.95. The activists say they were approached by the company to apply for the funding.

The Lush grant makes up about two-thirds of the money the group has raised so far. Lancaster Against Pipelines says it’s also received $3,500 from the Universal Unitarian Church in Lancaster, $5,000 from the Center for Health Environment and Justice, and a few anonymous money orders of $1,000. The group’s GoFundMe page currently has about $6,200.

Last fall the activists built two wooden structures near Conestoga, which they intend to occupy when pipeline construction begins. A few dozen people have been camping and training in nonviolent resistance since mid-February. The site has a food truck, portable toilets, and a large barn being outfitted with electricity and internet.

The encampment emerged shortly after the pipeline was approved by federal regulators last month. A spokesman for Williams, which is building the Atlantic Sunrise, says the company respects people’s right to protest peacefully.