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Shale Gas Outrage press coverage: a dozen stories show public opinion tide turning against fracking

October 24, 2011

“‘Fracking has become almost a dirty word,’ said Brian McDermott, spokesman for Gregory FCA Communications, an Ardmore public relations firm.” The Associated Press

To hear Aubrey McClendon [CEO of Chesapeake Energy] tell it, protesters opposed to the hydraulic-fracturing process . . . might just be winning the public-relations battle.The Philadelphia Daily News

But what about the [anti-natural gas drilling] billboard the Saunters paid for? Well, it’s no longer there. After two days, the billboard company took it down, refunding the couple’s money. Why? The message was too controversial.” NewsWorks

The public tide is turning against fracking, and it’s because of the relentless work we’ve done – and are doing – educating, advocating and agitating for a halt to high-volume hydraulic fracturing based on emerging science, health impacts, and widespread environmental damage.  This round-up of articles and press clippings from Shale Gas Outrage, the September 7th demonstration in Philadelphia organized by Protecting Our Waters and 65 allies, shows we are effectively winning the battle to get the truth out about the fracking industry.

In the weeks surrounding Shale Gas Outrage, hundreds of stories in the global press emerged about the “raucous anti-fracking rally in Center City,” including radio, television, print media, and blog posts.  With the industry spending millions on ad space and airtime, inserting the reality of PA residents suffering contaminated drinking water – and abdominal pain, mouth ulcers, vomiting, hair loss, signs of arsenic poisoning and more as a result – was no easy feat.

But because of months of careful planning, thousands of volunteer hours, hundreds of dedicated fractivists and the courage of dozens of people who were directly impacted by fracking coming forward to share their stories, our message is resonating. “ ‘[The natural gas industry] show[s] pretty flowers, and green fields, and that it’s a clean fuel [in their ads],’ ” said Julie Sautner of Susquehanna County, PA. “ ‘It may be clean to burn, but it’s not clean to get. These people haven’t seen the dirty process that drilling and fracking is.‘ ”

An editorial published two days after Shale Gas Outrage in the Scranton Times-Tribune wrote:

It was astounding Wednesday when Aubrey McClendon, Chesapeake Energy’s CEO, addressed a convention of drillers in Philadelphia and referred to protests taking place outside the convention hall as “unfettered fear-mongering.”

“Remind me,” he said, “what value have the protestors outside created?”

. . . On the other hand, the protesters haven’t contaminated anyone’s well water.

The air and print war is just one battle of many in the fight to protect our air, water, earth and communities, but with perseverance and truth on our side, it’s a battle we can win.  The links below show our growing success, including growth in a key intangible factor:  hope.

Hundreds demonstrate against natural gas drillers in Philly” by Dan Denvir, City Paper

Rendell assails drillers over lack of taxation” by Laura Olsen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

People mix hope, rage, and resolve at Shale Gas Outrage” by Peter Buckland, Sustainability Now Blog

Natural Disaster: How Did the Gas Industry Get So Fracked Up?” by Ada Kulesza, Philadelphia Weekly

“Hundreds March Through Center City to Protest Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling”  also by Ada Kulesza, Philadelphia Weekly 

Fracking’ protesters say drilling jobs not worth environmental risks” by Sarah Hoye, CNN

The last word goes to a farmer from Jefferson County, Jenny Lisak, who grows organic blueberries, fruit trees and vegetables, and whose life has been turned upside down by gas drilling.

Lisak and her husband have lived on their farm for three decades and raised their children there.  As the sound of crickets became replaced by the sound of gas drilling trucks and the neighbors’ gas drilling lease threaten not only their peace, but their livelihood, Lisak told reporter Peter Buckland, “I feel like nobody cares, nobody does anything….”

But in a news report posted just yesterday, October 23, 2011, Lisak said attending the Shale Gas Outrage rally gave her hope:

“PA Residents Rally Against Shale Drilling”  byPeter Buckland, Voices of Central PA

Buckland reports,

Jenny Lisak no longer felt like nobody was doing anything after the rally. In an email, she wrote, “I felt like I could see a glimmer of light down the tunnel and it wasn’t from a flare!!! The rally renewed my spirit and gave me some HOPE!!!!!”

One Comment
  1. October 24, 2011 11:47 am

    PA State Representative Steve Santarsiero (D-31) who sits on the Environment Committee in the House of Representatives in Harrisburg, PA will conduct a Citizens Taxpayer Forum on Drilling in the Marcellus Shale on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 9 am to 12 noon, in the Meeting House of the George School, 1690 Langhorne-Newtown Rd.(PA Rte 413) Langhorne, PA 18940. Please spread the word and come to the Forum if you can.


    Paul Roden

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