A recently released document from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) — which occupies offices in a variety of locales, including Los Angeles and San Francisco — suggests there are major gaps in regulatory oversight of hydraulic fracturing. The claims received painfully little media attention, probably because absent from the “fact” sheet were… well, actual facts.
We all know about the infamous (and universally panned) Cornell study from last year alleging high greenhouse gas emissions from shale development. But in case assessments by the U.S. Department of Energy, environmental groups, independent scientists, and even former state regulators weren’t enough to convince you that Howarth’s conclusions are fundamentally flawed, his own colleagues at Cornell are questioning Howarth’s findings. Again.
Today, EID sent a letter to New York filmmaker Josh Fox with a humble request: include facts and context in the forthcoming Gasland 2. We believe that Mr. Fox, as a self-described “journalist,” should welcome these recommendations, considering that journalism is a relentless pursuit of the truth and should not be a conduit for advancing an ideological agenda.
Here on the shale beat, last week couldn’t have been much better– starting with the announcement of new data on GHG emissions in the U.S. (thanks to shale, lowest they’ve been since 1992) and ending up with a string of great hits spotlighting the jobs and opportunity that natural gas development is delivering for communities all across the country. Here’s a quick round-up of some of the highlights.
Alec Baldwin – yes, that Alec Baldwin – recently took to the Huffington Post to explain what he deems to be “The Truth” about hydraulic fracturing. There was only one problem: Mr. Baldwin’s claims, like most of his movies and his persona as Jack Donaghy in “30 Rock,” are not exactly based on or in reality.
If your goal is to shut down oil and gas development, but your arguments have been consistently debunked and rebutted by scientific facts and empirical evidence, there are two paths you can take: The first is to acknowledge that your goals are unsupported by the facts, and move on to another issue about which you feel passionate. The second path is to pretend that science and facts actually don’t matter, and that evidence contradicting what you desperately want to believe is actually somehow a personal attack.
An interesting development in Culver City last week: the City’s School Board (yes, its school board) opted to weigh in on hydraulic fracturing. The development offers a good lesson to returning students this year: namely, that it is important to conduct independent research and gain at least partial understanding of what’s being discussed before inserting yourself into a discussion.
Gasland star Calvin Tillman made his way up to Northern Michigan this past weekend, flown up by activists to gin up support for their efforts to prevent responsible energy development from taking place here. Of course, these days, Tillman only travels to shale states with the greatest potential to generate jobs, revenues and cost-savings for consumers. Guess that makes him a harbinger of good news!
Following an investigation by the Associated Press highlighting several high-profile examples of oil and gas opponents misrepresenting science as part of their campaign against hydraulic fracturing, a short new video released today by EID confirms that a video and letter issued by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation late last year in which the group attacks natural gas development is, according to independent scientists, based on a complete misrepresentation of the facts.
Despite mistaken assertions and commentary made over the last several weeks, Nationwide has not issued any new guidelines nor taken any new positions regarding hydraulic fracturing or oil and gas development.
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.
The temperature has been 105 degrees in the Metroplex for what feels like 105 straight days, but this afternoon, the Dallas City Council attempted to let cooler heads prevail in a briefing it organized on natural gas development. EID decided to lend some facts to the debate, which opponents are fighting tooth and nail to obscure.