EID expands outreach effort to Michigan

LANSING, Mich. – Energy In Depth (EID), a leading national research and education initiative focused on promoting a fact-based dialogue on the safety, history and value of oil and gas development, announced today that it is expanding its effort to Michigan and bringing on a full-time, local resource to lead the program in the state. Working with Michigan producers, EID’s campaign will be focused on setting the record straight about responsible development and getting out the facts about the jobs and opportunity that it could make possible for Michigan.

“With all the talk about shale development across the country, it may surprise some to learn that Michigan is where it all started,” said Lee Fuller, executive director of Energy In Depth and vice president of the Independent Petroleum Association of America. “In fact, Michigan’s Antrim formation was the first real shale play to be developed commercially, going all the way back to the 1940s. Today, Michigan finds itself with another enormous opportunity to convert the potential of oil and gas production into the reality of jobs and cost-savings for consumers and residents.”

“Michigan’s oil and gas industry has an excellent story to tell, and we’re very proud of it,” said Frank Mortl, president and CEO of the Michigan Oil and Gas Association, which represents approximately 1,000 members who collectively support more than 10,000 Michigan jobs. “We continue to work hard to get that story out, so that we can continue to invest in Michigan, grow jobs for our citizens, and do our part in Michigan’s economic recovery. That’s why we’re pleased that Energy In Depth will be working with us working to increase public understanding of our industry and the jobs and opportunities it has created and will create in this state.”

Leading the way for EID in Michigan is Erik Bauss, an independent small-business owner and contractor based in Southeast Michigan, but whose reach and territory for EID will extend across the entire state. In kicking-off the effort this week, Erik joins a growing, nationwide network of EID researchers and staffers spread out across seven states and the District of Columbia – all focused on getting out the best information available on oil and gas issues, and doing so in a manner that’s quick, responsive, accurate and substantive. An avid outdoorsman, Bauss earned his degree in environmental and natural resource policy from Michigan State University.

“Michigan has a long and proud history of developing oil and natural gas responsibly, and with a very small footprint,” said Bauss, whose first post was filed on earlier this week. “I think it’s because of this history that many residents might not even be aware that hundreds of Michigan companies produce oil and gas in our state, and that we have thousands of good, hard-working people here who take their commitment to growing our economy while protecting our environment seriously. Unfortunately, some are seeking to exploit that gap in awareness, trying to scare folks into thinking that the wells we’re developing here are brand-new, untested, and risky. The reality, of course, is quite a bit different, and that’s a message we intend to take all across Michigan.”

As part of EID’s expanded effort in Michigan, we will be scheduling two upcoming tour stops and events for the film “Truthland” which is a short documentary that draws on the testimony of experts to refute and correct a number of distortions in the HBO film “Gasland.” “Truthland” tracks the journey of Pennsylvania farmer, teacher and mineral-owner Shelly Depue as she travels across the country in search of answers on natural gas development. More information on the film, along with streaming video of the documentary itself, can be found at



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