A few recent news items highlight the absurdity of fossil fuel interests' fight for fracking, and also the media's sometimes less-than-optimal coverage of that fight.
First, a man we might call the Mayor of Pollution City, aka the "frack master," spoke out on TV to declare fracking is "100% safe."
The trouble started when WWL-TV, a Louisiana CBS affiliate, introduced the CEO of an oil and gas company as an “oil industry expert,” and it didn’t get better. Not once in the five-minute segment did anchor Eric Paulsen mention Chris Faulkner’s role as CEO of Breitling Energy, an oil and gas company that operates in several states. Faulkner is known as the “frack master,” the company’s site reads, “for his unapologetic and outspoken industry advocacy.”
Faulkner frequently makes media appearances to promote fracking and, lately, to disparage the EPA’s carbon regulations. He believes that climate change is caused by nature, “and that man contributes very little,” he said in with SHALE magazine.
Meanwhile, we'd be fascinated to hear how the "frack master" might respond to a couple more articles: "Fracking increases dangerous earth burps" and
"Princeton Study: Up to 900,000 Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells Pollute Pennsylvania’s Air." Yeah, what could possibly go wrong with fracking, Mr. "frack master?" As it turns out, a great deal can and does go wrong with fracking all the time, and it's not going to get any better in the future as long as the "frack masters" get their way, without the media calling them out or the government stopping them.
In the end, it could just be that the fracking industry will simply start losing big-time in court. For instance, see Judge Upholds Jury Verdict for Family in Texas Fracking Case.
The judge presiding over a pivotal case involving toxic emissions from gas and oil drilling has accepted a jury verdict that awarded $2.9 million to a family who said the emissions have made them sick.
Judge Mark Greenberg issued a one page rulinglate Thursday denying a motion by Aruba Petroleum to reject the jury’s verdict. Among Aruba’s arguments rejected by Greenberg were that Bob and Lisa Parr did not prove the emissions that made them sick came from Aruba wells.
A bunch more multi-million-dollar damage rulings like this one, and perhaps the "frack masters" might start getting a wee bit nervous. And more to the point, perhaps the inherent dangers of fracking and other such fossil fuel practices will begin to be incorporated into the price of fossil fuels? Now that could wipe the smiles off the "frack master" and his friends' faces.