Former DEP Secretary John Hanger: “Certainly if you are going to watch Gasland you should watch Truthland.”
Frank Andrews – Client Manager, SCE Environmental Group
I had the opportunity to see the film “Truthland” when it was shown at the Hilton Hotel in Scranton. It was a good, solid presentation of facts and I especially enjoyed seeing it through Shelly’s eyes. It gave a down to earth look at the issues.
I had to speak up during the panel discussion.
Most people in Northeast and Central Pennsylvania know me. I spent 40 years in broadcasting, from radio to TV, serving as reporter, anchor and news director for the local ABC and CBS stations. I retired from TV news and now work in marketing for SCE Environmental Services in Lake Ariel, PA.
I got to tell you, all of you who are in the midst of the natural gas boom, that you are and will continue to be part of the “media feeding frenzy.” The Marcellus and Utica regions will continue to generate news. The energy companies will be under the microscope and reporters and cameras will at times be as common as a water truck.
Researcher, Energy In Depth
As a fuel source, natural gas represents a rare combination of benefits: Affordable, abundant, and clean. The White House has acknowledged this on several occasions, touting also the enormous job creation potential that responsible natural gas development can deliver.
But for some, denying the facts about natural gas has become a profitable enterprise. The most notable example? The Sierra Club, which recently launched its “Beyond Natural Gas” campaign to stop development of this important source of energy. Ironically, it was also the Sierra Club that was touting the environmental benefits of natural gas just a few short years ago, back when natural gas was expensive and considered in short supply — we’ll let our readers extrapolate the meaning of that.
As folks opposed to responsible oil and gas development gas-up their cars and buses for a trip down to Washington this weekend for a protest, our industry continues to focus on exposing and highlighting the truth about the economic and environmental benefits of American energy production – by way of some unique communications channels.
Last December, EPA released a draft report on water quality in tiny Pavillion, Wyo., which was immediately seized upon by opponents of natural gas development in the United States (and even around the world) as smoking-gun proof that hydraulic fracturing pollutes drinking water. Never mind that the paper hadn’t been peer reviewed, or that within a few months the EPA to backtrack and admit that its testing procedures were inadequate, suspending peer review altogether until new sampling could be completed. Just two months after the release of the draft report, EPA Region 8 administrator Jim Martin told a House panel in no uncertain terms that the agency had not established a “causal link” between hydraulic fracturing and water contamination.
Fast-forward to today. Shale opponents have now seized upon yet another “report” (from Cornell, where else?) that supposedly links poor infant health (specifically low birth weight) to natural gas production. And, once again, the paper has not yet undergone peer review — the very process that helps sort out, at least in theory, legitimate scientific conclusions from simple suppositions or even outright activism. In fact, left unmentioned by the activists cheering the release of the paper is the fact that the author, Elaine Hill, is a graduate student in applied economics and management — hardly a field that one would expect to include complex epidemiological assessments.
With Congress’s August recess (ehem, “district work period”) only a week or so away, the last few remaining days of session are always incredibly busy around the Capitol – and this week was certainly no exception. Thankfully, though, thanks to the help and support of U.S. Reps. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) and Dan Boren (D-Okla.) – co-chairs of the Natural Gas Caucus— EID was able to secure a spot on an otherwise packed congressional agenda to screen “Truthland” at the Capitol Visitors Center on Wednesday.