PR Watch has done a nice overview of the fracking loose change at Energy in Depth, paying particular attention to Tom Shepstone, a dis-accredited former land planner, now EID’s math and veracity-challenged “political organizer” for New York; on whose watch over 140 towns have taken steps to protect themselves from the shale charlatans that EID fronts for. When you see Promised Land note that when the landmen talk about needing to “bring in PR” to deal with local opposition to fracking, they are referring to the kind of frack flaks that work for EID. We have commented on the grab bag of gas bags that work for EID from time to time. Suffice it to say that fracking shills like EID are the kind of fracking shills that give other fracking shills a bad name. If the mainstream press did this kind of research, the frack flaks at EID would have been laughed out of the game long ago. There’s still time. Read on. . .
IPAA/EID Targets the Park Foundation While Keeping Its Corporate Funders Secret
“IPAA/EID has been on the attack against critics of fracking. Here’s a recent example of its disinformation: the Capital Research Center (CRC) – itself part of the CEO-fueled echo chamber – quoted EID’s flack Tom Shepstone this month implying that the Park Foundation spent more than $17 million helping to oppose fracking in just one year. Wrote CRC: “In 2009, the Park Foundation had net assets of $246 million and spent $23 million, which included $17.6 million in grants and contributions to green groups opposed to fracking, according to Shepstone,” a Pennsylvanian who’s official title is “Campaign Director” for EID’s “Northeast Marcellus Initiative.”
But, as reported earlier this year, the Park Foundation’s public filings show that only a fraction of that amount was spent on grants for projects to educate the public about fracking. The total for 2009 was approximately $700,000, which is 1/25th of what Shepstone claimed. In contrast, the industry’s biggest trade group, API, spends over a $180 million a year on its entire budget, including tens of millions of dollars on PR.
This is not the first time Shepstone has had trouble with numbers. In 2000, a court approved his federal bankruptcy after he and his wife racked up more than $725,000 in debt as compared with their assets – described as a house on five acres (valued at $125,000), a new car loan for a Chevy S-10 Blazer, and $200 worth of clothes, although he attested that they made almost $90,000 annually a few years earlier – with some personal debt related to his businesses, described as “Shepstone Management Corp.” in Honesdale and “North Country Farm and Gardens Corp.,” at 160 Roosevelt Highway in Waymart. They were also subject to an IRS tax lien for more than $20,000 in unpaid taxes attributed to “Tom Shepstake” and his wife in 1996, a claim that was later settled. Americans do, of course, have the right to declare bankruptcy when their financial calculations go awry and get a second chance, like Shepstone.”
Tom Shepstone double dipping at the fed. trough: http://www.nofrackingway.us/2012/11/29/your-tax-dollars-at-work
“CRC used Shepstone’s recent math on Park to buttress the absurd thesis that “Environmentalists often depict themselves as scrappy underdogs fighting the power of entrenched special interests. But the case of the Marcellus Shale — and the untold energy resources that could be recovered safely by new drilling technology such as fracking — pits ‘the little guy’ against powerful ‘green’ forces such as the Park Foundation and the Natural Resources Defense Council.”
(source: EnergyWire) “Like IPAA/EID, CRC keeps many of its big funders secret, although foundation filings show that its funders have included the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, the family foundation of the CEO of the multi-billion dollar Koch Industries — which in turn is led by Charles and his brother David Kochand is one of the richest privately held gas, oil, and chemical companies in the world. Koch Industries has reaped undisclosed profits from ventures benefiting from expanded fracking, such as from the lower cost of the natural gas used as a feeder to make its fertilizer by Koch Nitrogen, one of the Koch companies.
Only in the distorted worldview of CRC does an industry made up of some of the most profitable corporations in the history of the world – ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Chevron,Koch Industries, Halliburton, and more — get portrayed as “the little guy” fighting for fracking against a putative Goliath in the form of the Park Foundation.
In contrast to Shepstone’s dramatically inflated figures, “[s]ince 2008, the foundation has given at least $2.8 million to groups and publications fighting shale drilling,” according to EnergyWire. That cumulative spending is less than a quarter of what Shepstone claimed the Park Foundation spent in one year alone.”
“But such efforts to discredit the growing grassroots movement of citizens concerned about fracking — such as by insinuating that it’s all about “buckets of money” from Park, according to Shepstone — are particularly deceptive when made by operations like CRC and IPAA/EID, which don’t disclose the identities of their major funders such as the for-profit businesses that paved the way for EID’s campaign.” (More on Energy in Depth)
Dory has dissected these fracking toadies in some detail:
Behold Kaptain Frackaroo whining about grass roots fractavists.