Control Risks – advising the gas industry on the threat posed by “fracktivists”

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.

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About jstephencleghorn

My name is Dr. J. Stephen Cleghorn. I am now a resident of Baltimore, MD. I continue to own a 50-acre certified organic farm in Jefferson County, PA that I operated with my late wife Lucinda between 2005 and 2011 when she passed away from cancer. The farm is now under lease to organic farmers and protected by "The Dr. Lucinda Hart-Gonzalez Conservation Easement” which protects it for organic agriculture and against the threats of industrial development that would violate the Rights of Nature. The blog’s name is taken from the writings of Saint Augustine who believed “Hope” to be the greatest of spiritual gifts. And, says Saint Augustine, Hope has two lovely daughters: Anger and Courage. Anger so that what must not be may not be; courage so that what should be can be. Anger and Courage. Now in late 2016, after the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, these are the spiritual gifts that must come to the fore if we are to have “Hope” for a loving culture and a sustainable world for future generations. When I first created this blog it was focused on the extreme form of fossil fuel extraction known as “fracking” that was threatening much of the state of Pennsylvania and many other parts of the United States. At the root of that struggle was and is a struggle to halt and reverse climate change. Now the struggle has turned to resisting an incoming Trump Administration that is an existential threat to the climate with its plans to ramp up extraction and use of fossil fuels. This blog will be about having the courage to stand up to the massive global corporations that would ruin our planet and its climate, take their profits and leave the mess to future generations of to clean up. We need to rise up, my friends, and be not afraid.
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One Response to Control Risks – advising the gas industry on the threat posed by “fracktivists”

  1. Elizabeth L. Engleman says:

    Sending encouragement and inspiration in your good fight: “There are, it seems, two muses: the Muse of Inspiration, who gives us inarticulate visions and desires, and the Muse of Realization, who returns again and again to say “It is yet more difficult than you thought.” This is the muse of form. It may be then that form serves us best when it works as an obstruction, to baffle us and deflect our intended course. It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.”
    ― Wendell Berry

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