Home > Frac > Hydraulic Fracturing Series: The Press (To Be Reckoned With)

Hydraulic Fracturing Series: The Press (To Be Reckoned With)

In his play Richelieu, written in 1839, Edward Bulwer-Lytton forever pressed an adage into the memory of the modern world when he scribed:

True, This! —
Beneath the rule of men entirely great,
The pen is mightier than the sword. Behold
The arch-enchanters wand! — itself a nothing! —
But taking sorcery from the master-hand
To paralyse the Cæsars, and to strike
The loud earth breathless!

In 1870, a literary critic named Edward Sherman Gould wrote that Bulwer “had the good fortune to do, what few men can hope to do: he wrote a line that is likely to live for ages.”

That line, as you may have guessed, is “The Pen is mightier than the sword.”

Although I do not believe that the Green press could be considered “men entirely great“,  I do believe that the momentum they have gathered and the ground they’ve gained needs to be fully recognized by our industry.

They are very aware of their power. Their office is established and they know how to use that leverage.

And while we do not write for National newspapers or magazines, we do not make films, we do not influence the lens of public perception; many of them do.

Similar to the way that historians are responsible for the accuracy of the accounts which they tell on behalf of the dead, those authors in the press are the gate-keepers to the public concerning information and if we provide no alternative, then the people, including the law-makers will make decisions based on what they’ve heard.

The arch-enchanters wand! — itself a nothing!” calls to the ears of their readers declaring “This is an issue which needs your attention! This is why, They are poisoning your families and pillaging your lands!”

So some lawmakers bought it and started pushing for bans, listening to the cries of “Wolf, Wolf!”.

The press concerning the Hydraulic Fracturing Industry is a Siren’s song; one if heeded could be disastrous. The Green press will not be satisfied until sailors are drowning and masts splintered, until laws are passed to destroy the Hydraulic Fracturing Industry and with it, all of of the benefits, which are considerable.

What do we know that we need to tell the people?

Hydraulic Fracturing has been in use for over 60 years. Over 1 million Frac jobs have been performed with zero confirmed cases of groundwater contamination.

The EPA admits this.

In the case of a well blowout in the Luther Township of Pennsylvania, their Pens wrote “thousands of gallons of frack fluid” would contaminate water wells and tributaries to the Susquehanna river, and finally, Chesapeake Bay.

A 179 page report paid for by Chesapeake, and created by the SAIC reported that the spill in Bradford County had “no environmental impact” after extensive sampling. The report met and was acceptable to the Department of Environmental Protection.

Regardless of the baseless nature of their criticisms, their caustic approach has already done notable damage.

Our industry started PR campaigns to combat the damage done by false information. By false information, I mean outright, unapologetic, and strategic misrepresentation for the purpose of stirring controversy by lying to the public.

They do the same thing they accuse those in industry of doing.

This is called hypocrisy.

I can assure you that the Green Press will continually call for the head of Natural Gas drillers in the feigned fear of the possibility of contamination.

They will go on hunting Snipe forever.

They talk about the potential fish kills and water contamination in the face of reports from Agencies (they rally behind, ironically) that disagree with them and still, they call frac fluids “poison” or a “cocktail” of dangerous fluids.

They always mention benzene or toluene without mentioning that toluene was used in the creation of Coca Cola for years or that benzene is used as an intermediate to create other chemicals. Its derivatives include styrene, used to make plastics and polymers, phenol for resins and adhesives, and cyclohexane, which is utilized in the manufacture of Nylon.

What we have brought attention to before and will again is that they always seem to turn a blind eye to both perspective and a realistic pursuit of an objective.

Aristotle said “Fear is pain arising from the anticipation of evil.”

And this is what Yellow Journalists have done. They have attempted to eviscerate the public image of Oil and Gas companies and talk about Oil and Gas companies like they are inherently evil. They have systematically attacked every aspect of industry from the content of fluids, to water usage, to disclosure.

They call for heavier regulation and taxation without noting that the Oil and Gas Industry is already the most taxed business on earth and one of the most heavily regulated.

Winston Churchill once said “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”

For whatever reason, the attack of the press reminds me of the Wizard of Oz. They bark a great deal, they say mighty things, but in the end, they must admit reality and be exposed for what they are:

A little old man behind a curtain that has nothing to say but a powerful way to say it.

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