So here is how the Control Risks consulting group sizes up our movement to end fracking. http://www.controlrisks.com/Oversized%20assets/shale_gas_whitepaper.pdf
For me this document reads like a huge compliment to all of us who are resisting fracking. It is clear that this consultant at least takes our movement seriously. And Josh Fox should be very proud of the degree to which Gasland made it all around the world as an impetus for resistance. Hopefully Matt Damon’s Promised Land and Josh’s Gasland II will keep building on gains we have made.
There is a lot of encouraging news in here about anti-fracking movements around the world, maybe even some good leads as to how groups might be connected up internationally. And from what I read here, the grassroots organizations have the full respect of this analyst, if not the industry tycoons. I really liked the following passage, especially the words I have highlighted:
“In general, the anti-fracking movement is gradually becoming a component of the broader environmental movement: the UK’s Frack Off – in line with its climate justice roots – has promoted campaigns against coal mining, while US and Australian anti-coal groups have launched anti-fracking campaigns. Other progressive movements have also conscientiously cultivated links to the anti-fracking movement, both out of solidarity and – likely – for the publicity value.”
Nice to be considered among the “progressive” movements of the world by this industry risk analyst. (Smiling here.)
The document is also useful in showing how the industry wants to “handle” the population in shale areas, and the sort of things they worry about instead of being remorseful in any sense for the damage they have already done. But people don’t like to be “handled” toward an objective that in the final analysis threatens their way of life, so perhaps this document will backfire on the industry as it gets circulated. The document endorses further use of the “settlement and gag” practice as perhaps the most economic route for the industry to take, stating this: “Yet, as in the Dimock case, settlement – rather than conceding the debate and fueling anti-fracking sentiment – may be the least costly course of action.”
As for its three semi-benign recommendations, I doubt the industry will pay much attention to any of them because they all require an attitude they do not possess and a commitment to outreach efforts and safety practices that will cost them more money. I seriously doubt we are going to see any gas money of a serious nature going into long-term economic development of communities. At best I think the industry PR men and CEOs will give some lip service to the recommendations in this analysis, but given that current risks to them or their business (at least in Pennsylvania) are not high or extreme across the board, I’d expect business as usual.
The document does remind me of Dr Terry Engelder’s scoff at the environmentalists a few years back that we are not a serious threat that would in any way “degrade the quality of the play.” I’d bet even he thinks a little differently now.