August 30, 2012

The Gas Bag strategies for defusing hydrofracking opposition

WATKINS GLEN, New York, USA - A website called Energy in Depth started popping up in my emails about hydrofracking recently. Usually the emails were because someone was commenting about some outrageous opinion columns printed on the site purporting to be news.

I won't provide the link here because the people that run it likely use the number of hits to show their bosses how much traffic they generate as they ask for more money.

A new way to heat homes - light the faucets on fire

EID is a gas industry mouthpiece which pretends that it is presenting the news and facts about natural gas exploration and drilling but in fact spends most of its time ridiculing anyone who criticizes any aspect of the gas industry.

EID is supported by the oil industry, too. They are all sleeping the same rather rumpled, toxic bed.

The stories/columns are quite sophomoric and make wild claims about the wonderfulness of natural gas, dismissing any assertions that there have been toxic spills or water pollution or nasty incidents of any kind.

But in the past few days, I allowed myself to get sucked into reading some of the posts and responding a few times.

Then I realized that is a major part of the EID strategy: Get concerned citizens busy replying to stories posted by the morons who write for the website. (My apologies to morons everywhere for that crack. These people aren't stupid, just mean-spirited.) If the fracking opponents are spending time  posting on the website, responding to some snotty, inaccurate or lie-filled post, they are not writing letters to legislators, researching the ongoing chemical spills or talking to their neighbors about the dangers of hydrofracking.

Tom Shepstone, gas industry flack
Tom Shepstone, the man in charge of the public relations site (and other efforts to discredit anyone asking questions) is a gas industry consultant and told me - in a comment on the EID website - that my assertion that they were trying to suck off activists' time was ludicrous.

I don't think so. I think Shepstone and his klan of gas baggers is all about trying to get the opponents of hydrofracking from focusing on fighting in ways that matter such as trying to stop the gas companies from continuing to buy politicians while they blithely pollute the groundwater.

So, adios EID. Rest in peace, preferably near a concrete hydrofracking pad or adjacent to one of those naturally occurring methane puddles which are growing in such great numbers where hydrofracking is taking place.

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