Tuesday, November 29, 2011

FRACTURED FUTURE - Does the natural gas industry need a new messenger?

CBC News

Posted: Nov 29, 2011

A series of special op-eds about the shale gas industry

Anthony Ingraffea is the Dwight C. Baum
Professor of Engineering and Faculty
Fellow at the David R. Atkinson Center
for a Sustainable Future (ACSF) at
Cornell University.Ingraffea is also the
president of Physicians, Scientists and
Engineers for Healthy Energy.
The university professor is visiting
New Brunswick in November and
December to discuss hydro-fracking.
The event is being hosted by the
Conservation Council of New
To hear the natural gas industry tell it, the only problem with natural gas is bad public relations.

“The public is skeptical of anything we say,” says Tisha Conoly-Schuller, president and chief executive officer of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association.

Her advice is for industry to get “other messengers to carry positive messages about oil and gas to a skeptical public,” and she touts university professors as the ideal: they “polled highest and are well-positioned in that regard.”

I am a university professor, but I’m certain Conoly-Schuller and her colleagues decidedly won’t like my simple message for them: “Tell the whole truth.”

And I’m only one of hundreds of critics delivering that message. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., a self-confessed “early optimist on natural gas,” laments, “The industry's worst actors have successfully battled reasonable regulation [and] stifled public disclosure while bending compliant government regulators to engineer exceptions to existing environmental rules.”

In his New York Times commentary The Fracking Industry’s War On The New York Times – And The Truth, he goes on to note that, “Captive agencies and political leaders have obligingly reduced already meager enforcement resources and helped propagate the industry's deceptive economic projections. As a result, public skepticism toward the industry and its government regulators is at a record high.”

Continue reading...  Myths and reality, Other myths


Tisha Conoly-Schuller, president and chief executive officer of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association(COGA)

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