Schlumberger popularized the term “hydraulic fracturing,” which they, being French, referred to as a “frac.” Catch is you cannot conjugate “frac” in English, since the past tense comes out as “fraced” (as in faced) and the gerund or present participle as “fracing” (like lacing).
So the industry added an apostrophe to signify the missing ‘k” as in “frac’ing” or added an extra “c” to make it “fraccing” and “fracced” – all by way of trying to avoid the phonetically correct English word “frack” or “frak” which is a Battlestar Galactica euphemism for you-know-what . . . As in “your water has been fracced.” Or “we’re the fraccers and we’re going to fracc your neighborhood real good.”
Gas Industry Abandons”Fracc’ing” in New Ads
Saturday, September 27, 2014 6:30 am
COOPERSTOWN — The shale gas industry is making a new gambit to reclaim the word “fracking.”
Fracking is short-hand for the extraction process technically known as horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or “frac”.The word “fracking” made its debut in the Merriam-Webster dictionary this year. Some involved in the gas industry have been openly critical of the term, arguing it was intentionally demonized by anti-drilling activists who added the letter “k” to the slang term “frac’ing” that is used by drillers and their political allies.
The word “fracking” has been so effusively used by opponents of the controversial technique that environmentalists out to ban the process are now known in some circles as “fractivists.”
But all this criticism of “fracking” is getting a new response from the Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry group that has been eyeing shale gas deposits throughout the Marcellus Shale region, which includes parts of Otsego, Delaware and Chenango counties.
This week, the industry launched a new television and radio advertising campaign in Pennsylvania, where hydraulic fracturing is permitted by state government. The ads are aimed, in part, at taking back the terminology from the opposition.
One little girl states in the ads, “Fracking rocks !” Adding,”My dad does it.”
Further emphasis is added at the conclusion of the ad with the words: “Fracking: Rock solid for PA.”
The ads were unveiled this week at a Marcellus Shale Coalition conference in Pittsburgh, where industry officials refused to tell reporters how much will be spent on the new campaign.
One of the messages at the conference, according to a report by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, is that the industry must respond to “propaganda” from anti-fracking groups.
“The disinformation and propaganda machine against what you do is frightening,” Stephen Moore, the chief economist for the conservative Heritage Foundation, was quoted as saying at the conference.”And may have been instigated by outside agitators.”
Another industry representative at the conference, Randy Cleveland, president of XTO Energy, an ExxonMobil subsidiary, had a similar message, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“If you look across the country, in areas where we are welcomed vs. areas where we see resistance, local engagement is the common thread,” Cleveland was quoted as saying. “Where people say ‘frac’ing’, we thrive. And where they say ‘fracking’ we have difficulty. So we are going to start saying “fracking’ in our ads in order to regain the high ground.”
In Cooperstown, retired Mobil Oil executive Lou Allstadt, now a member of the village board of trustees and a high-profile critic of fracking, called the new Marcellus Shale Coalition ad campaign an extension of “seven years of lies and bullying from the oil and gas industry.”
“Reports of serious problems caused by fracking — water contamination, air pollution, health issues — that the industry used to brush off as anecdotal data, are now coming out as peer-reviewed scientific studies,” Allstadt said.
“There is nothing that an expensive outreach campaign by paid public relations people can do to change the facts,” he added. “Fracking is dangerous — to the people who live near the well pads; to those who live near where the waste is dumped; and to the entire atmosphere because of the climate change impacts from the carbon dioxide and methane that is released from the entire process of drilling, transportation and burning of fossil fuels.”
John Holko, president of the energy company Lenape Resources, which once held gas leases in the Otego area, said he welcomed the campaign to cast fracking in a positive light. He said “frac’ing” has been “pasted (sic) with a negative image by people who have no idea what they’re talking about even.”
“We’re tired of living in the shadow of a bunch of people who are making stuff up,” Holko said, “Including words like ‘frack,’ which is not even in the dictionary and is not used by respectable Americans.”
But Allstadt, who spent his career in the oil industry, said the new public relations campaign is bound to fail. He called on the oil and gas industry to recognize they are promoting “dangerous products that are becoming more expensive and will be overtaken by safe, clean renewable energy” such as wind and solar energy.
“A campaign by a bunch of PR flacks to make the word fracking sound a little less threatening is not going to change the course of history,” he said. “…The companies can either change their businesses or watch them crumble It’s just a matter of time, no matter how much lipstick they put on the fracking pig.”