Marcellus Shale

The Irony of the “Don’t Frack With Me” Crowd

Cherie Messore
Director of Public Affairs — IOGA-NY

April 25 was a day of irony in Albany.

While Josh Fox made another appearance in a NYS Senate hearing and roaming bands of “Don’t Frack With Me” advocates spread their fact-challenged messages, New York’s Natural Gas Agencies (NYNGA) collectively hosted an educational forum for legislators and their staffs.

After all, what’s the one reason most towns are giving for enacting moratorium against hydraulic fracturing? More time is needed to become educated and learn about impacts and effects of natural gas development. So, NYNGA brought together industry reps, and others, to create a room full of learning stations staffed by experts, not actors. No one who primarily identifies themselves  as a concerned citizen, no one with an axe to grind or a personal agenda to drive home, just facts and the science and track record to back them up.

When the pro-industry details were packed up and last-minute packets were delivered to legislators who couldn’t join us, we trundled into the parking garage.  Then four casually dressed young people sporting “don’t frack” stickers on their clothes and notebooks stumbled into the elevator, joining us on our short trip. As the doors shut, we were quiet and anonymous, unbranded in this small space.

We reached our floor and, of course, the cart wheel caught in the door crease.  One of the no-frack gentlemen helped dislodge the wheel (I wondered: would he have been as neighborly if he knew who we were?).   A few steps later, still in the parking garage, a woman in their party lit a cigarette.  Yes! A chemically laced, proven carcinogen was pulled from packaging that doesn’t fully disclose the proprietary proportions of its toxic contents.

Perhaps the need for a selfish buzz is OK after a day of advocating for a pristine and risk-free world. Or is this the irony that declares “i’m addicted to big-money tobacco’s benzene and I don’t care if you don’t have jobs, New Yorkers?”

Indeed, it was a day full of irony. And at least one hypocrisy to boot.

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