Stuck on Stupid: Fracking industry’s “new” public relations strategy

stuckonstupidThe American Petroleum Institute has new guidelines for how to be better neighbors and corporate citizens.

In issuing the “community engagement guidelines,” API seems to be tacitly acknowledging that oil and gas companies were slow to respond to mounting grassroots concerns about hydraulic fracturing and sending a message that the industry needs to do more to build trust with the public as it moves rigs into regions without long drilling histories.  FuelFix

Most used word: Engage.

These new “standards” contain nothing new and, in fact, are taken straight from the PSYOPS conference where the word “engage” was used frequently. It is exactly the same pile of crap industry has been dishing out to communities for decades.

From the FuelFix article:

Recommendations include: (edits with links to PSYOPS conference added by me)

  • Creating awareness campaigns on “safe driving” and maintain high standards for road safety — a practice that may help ease concerns about surging traffic from trucks hauling sand, water and other supplies.

Please note that addressing questions and inquiries is NOT the same as addressing and fixing problems. If this industry were truly interested in being a better neighbor, the recommendations would look like this:

  • Do not drill or frack near where people live, work, play and worship. A minimal setback should be 1/2 mile.
  • Hosting forums, providing videos and conducting demonstrations to educate people about the real risks to health, safety, water and air.
  • Pay for third party baseline testing of air water and soil and develop a plan for fair compensation when contamination occurs.
  • Keep your gas in your pipes at all costs so the neighbors will not suffer health impact and climate change will not accelerate.
  • Compensate neighbors fairly for loses and help them relocate when desired.

As my friend, Lisa Bracken, said in Gasland: You can put a bow on a pile of crap and it’s still a pile of crap.

About Sharon Wilson

Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.