The following includes the opening lines from a longer piece posted at Raging Chicken Press. org: Energy in Depth’s Soldiers of Fracking- Fortune: Why We Must Understand Who They Are and What They Do | Raging Chicken Press
The piece also includes 29 photographs shot over the last year of the Pennsylvania and New York anti-fracking movement. They depict what, for me at least, are a few significant events of 2012: The Construction/protest of the Janet Hock Road Compressor Station, Sulllivan County, the protest at Schlumberger, Horseheads, New York, the Protest at the Dehydrator Station, Rt. 309 near Dallas, PA, the Double-Fracking operation on Rt. 118 near Lairdeville, PA, Beaver Lake–a stone’s throw from Janet Hock Road. These pictures also include just a tiny handful of some of the loveliest people I have met to date in the movement–people for whom I am deeply grateful and with whom I look forward to the continuation of our resistance to fracking, tar sands extraction, mountain top removal–our resistance to ecocide–in 2013.
From the piece:
In her excellent PR Watch piece, ““Energy In Depth” – A Reporters’ Guide to Its Founding, Funding, and Flacks,” Lisa Graves spells out in copiously well-documented detail the purposes and funding sources of what can only be called a propaganda machine for corporations involved in hydraulic fracturing:
In short, IPAA/EID is a PR operation for the industry’s multi-billion dollar financial interests in “unconventional” drilling for what is popularly known as “natural gas.” Although this expanded drilling is often described as essential to our “national security,” the Center for Media and Democracy/PRWatch has shown that the industry is increasingly exporting gas to be sold in other countries. IPAA/EID’s PR efforts pay special attention to the “Marcellus shale” gas that lies deep beneath the surface in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, and neighboring states, which constitutes a lucrative market for multi-national firms and their domestic counter-parts to exploit. (“Energy In Depth” – A Reporters’ Guide to Its Founding, Funding, and Flacks | PR Watch)
Energy in Depth’s (EID), reason for being, in other words, is to affect acquiescence to the manipulative rhetoric of what I have called “the good American,” that is, to a conception of citizenship designed to maximally benefit the extraction industry and its expansive array of associated enterprises (Why Fracking Epitomizes the Crisis in American Democracy: Profiteering and the “Good American” | Raging Chicken Press).
This benefit involves not only identifying citizenship with corporate profitability, but allowing the very real and environmentally destructive incursions of corporations like Shell, BP, Chesapeake, Anadarko, Chevron, etc. onto our farms, state parks, gamelands, and university campuses (The Industrialization of PASSHE: Where the Public Good, its Students, and its Faculty are Auctioned Off to the Extraction Profiteers (Or: Extortion by Extraction) | Raging Chicken Press).
That the destruction of environment, community infrastructure, social and economic safety nets is abetted through the corruption of government agencies and the drafting of corporate-favored law is well-established—but it is to the re-writing, concealment, effacing, and deflection away from these facts that is at the heart of EID’s modus operandi.
EID’s is a tall task: it’s one thing to be a site administrator like Tom Shepstone and post demonstrably false cheerleading promotions for fracking. It’s also one thing to be a member of a staff of field directors whose job it is to write feel-good reports about the benefits of fracking. But it’s another altogether to act as soldiers of fortune for corporations whose record of environmental violation, community disruption, worker accident, incursions onto the protected lands of indigenous peoples, gross failures of habitat remediation, and blatant criminal profiteering (think Aubrey McClendon) requires something more than cheerleading.
That is the raison d’être of EID, and it requires not merely the suspension of a moral compass concerning, for example, lying about the benefits of fracking for good Americans; it requires soldiers of fracking-fortune, that is, agents willing to fabricate, manipulate, discredit, and if necessary silence an opposition whose stalwart activists are gaining increasing ground in the minds and hearts of their fellow citizens.
It is supremely ironic that it is to our patriotism that the hydraulic fracturing corporations appeal since they are demonstrably beholden to no country, no flag, no national interest whatever……
….EID could not command the funding it gets without delivering a solid product: a clear path to the ongoing unimpeded profitability of fossil fuel extraction. Hence it’s unsurprising that so much of its energy goes into tamping down, dismissing, discrediting, dividing, conquering, and silencing the opposition at the level of that opposition: the gritty grassroots activism of the anti-fracking movement.
A highly inclusive, diverse movement growing by leaps and bounds in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Colorado, Texas, etc., EID has its hands full countering the “fractivists.”
There are many tales detailing EID’s soldier-of-fortune approach to crushing the opposition, but here’s one that I think instructive in several ways important to the growth of the anti-fracking movement…
We have much work to do–joyously, passionately, deliberately, and with the conviction that we stand on the side of the just, the good, and the beautiful. We stand on the side of environmental integrity, human rights, and the fundamental decency that hold our hands firmly to each other’s.
Thank you, friends and allies, for this magnificent, wrenching year.
Let us make 2013 count more than ever.