No Fracking Way

Range Resources – SQUIRREL!

by Dory Hippauf on November 15, 2012

Range Resources yells Squirrel and the news media is distracted.    For the past two days, Bumstead and Puko of the TribLive News has gone bounding after a squirrel with the Range Resources hit pieces on PA Representative Jesse White.

Yesterday’s squirrel was about campaign contributions.  Today’s squirrel is about “Hispanics and Mexicans”.    Tomorrow’s squirrel? Who knows?  Maybe about why White isn’t a member of Hair Club for men?

There are 4 stages of media/public relations that the Natural Gas Industry (and most other corporations) follow.  

  1. DENY Responsibility:  How many times have we heard the standard excuse of “the water was like that before we drilled”?
  2. DISTORT the Facts: Grab all spurious information and throw it against the wall like spaghetti, see what sticks and run with it whether it is relevant or not.   The IPAA (Independent Petroleum Association of America) public relations campaign – Energy-in-Depth (EID) is very good at this.
  3. DISTRACT the Public: This is done by changing the subject, (i.e. yelling Squirrel), attacking the messenger, and peeling off multiple strands of spaghetti from the wall to keep the public off balance.
  4. DELAY Proceeding:  Delay and drag out the issue until effected parties give up from exhaustion.

The Bumstead-Puko-Range Resource pieces indicate the DISTRACT mode is operational.

Lest we all go romping into the woods after the Squirrel, I would like to bring your attention back to the issue.  The issue is Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) water testing reports, dubbed DEP FrackWater-Gate.

Testimony by John Carson, a DEP Field Inspector revealed the use of “Suite Codes” which tells the PA Bureau of Laboratories what to REPORT.   Further testimony from Taru Upadhyay, of Laboratories technical director, stated the lab tests according to EPA Approved Methods however the report sent back to DEP only covers items specified by the Suite Codes.  

This means homeowners are receiving incomplete reports and being told based on incomplete reports that their water is safe when it may not be safe.    This is the issue.  This is what is important.   

The DEP by design or by incompetence has failed and is failing to protect the environment.  The environment we all live in, the air, the water and the land we all need.   The incomplete reports are a betrayal of the PEOPLE’s trust and serves only to protect the business environment of the Natural Gas Drillers.  

Please note, while Bumstead and Puko are chasing squirrels, we are staying focused on the issue: Pennsylvania groups demand disclosure of fracking contaminants; confront PA DEP

This is the real story which needs to be told by real journalists.

If Bumstead and Puko want to chase after campaign contribution squirrels, let them look into the connections between Terry Pegula, Gov. Corbett and Royal Dutch Shell “tax credits”, or why did Chesapeake Energy donate $450,000 to Corbett’s Attorney General campaign back in 2004, or what about PA Senator Joe Scarnati (R) and Sen Tim Solobay (D) fun filled 2011 Superbowl trip paid for by the Natural Gas Industry to name a few.

Or if Bumstead and Puko prefer Hispanic and Mexican squirrel’s they could take a close look at Rep. Lou Barletta’s stance and connections to immigration policies.  (Hazleton Mayor Has Trouble Backing up Claims of Immigrant Crime Wave: ‘The People in My City Don’t Need Numbers’)

The issue of Natural Gas Drilling and its effects on Pennsylvanians is a serious one and deserves responsible, investigative reporting, not transcriptions of industry press releases or squirrel chase stories.


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©2012 by Dory Hippauf 

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Judy Muskauski November 15, 2012 at 10:43 am

Way to reel them back in and keep the issue out there as it should be, Dory! Great article!


Don November 15, 2012 at 11:08 am

Great piece. The fracking industry will stop at nothing to hide the very real dangers of their toxic industry. Says who? The New England Journal of Medicine. Check this out: They are blocking doctors from discussing health risks with their patients. Share:


Dory Hippauf November 15, 2012 at 11:18 am

Please note, while Bumstead and Puko are chasing squirrels, we are staying focused on the issue: Pennsylvania groups demand disclosure of fracking contaminants; confront PA DEP


TXsharon November 15, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Our media, with a few exceptions, is a bunch of suckers.


TXsharon November 15, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Pot calls Kettle black!!!

“We’ve remained silent for more than a year while he’s falsely attacked a company trying to go about its business in a productive way,” Pitzarella said. “His emails and small behavior speaks for itself. We always want to work things out, but we won’t be bullied, either.”

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Jesse White November 15, 2012 at 9:46 pm
Dr. J. November 16, 2012 at 9:03 am

Why isn’t the mainstream media reporting these Important issues and lack of DEP transparency?
These insightful pieces should be submitted to all major PA news feeds.


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